Sunday January 18th, 2015

The exercise:

As usual, it's been too long. Let us return to the Random CD prompt.

Which, if I'm being honest, I should really rename the Random Song prompt. But this is the 39th time I've used it and I am very, very lazy.

Anyway. Pick a song. Randomly. Use its first line as the first line of your poetry or prose. Let your imagination take it from there. Give credit where it's due. You know the drill. If you don't, feel free to click on the label at the bottom of the post to view a whole lot of examples of how this one has gone before.

Back in Kaleden safe and sound. I forgot to mention yesterday that Kat and I took advantage of our visit to Osoyoos to go for a couple's massage, courtesy of a Christmas gift from my parents. It was divine.

This morning Kat's dad and brother and I started work on redoing the bathroom at our place. Well, not the whole thing. We're putting in a new bathtub, which we probably should have done before we moved in, and redoing the tiling around it. The tile board we put up originally was purchased and left behind by the previous resident so we figured we might as well use it.

That was a poor decision.

And one that will be rectified in the coming weeks. It started today, with us taking off all the tile and removing the shower curtain rod and faucets and such. Kat's dad is going to get a plumber in to get advice on the best way to get the tub out (it's going to be a tight squeeze... I was all in favour of going full sledgehammer but I was unable to win the other two over on that one) and how to get the new one in.

It's nice to not be living there while this is getting done. And it'll be even nicer to come home to it being done (though I'll be making at least one trip back just to help with the work).

Mine:

Penguins and Moonboots by We Were Evergreen

I like looking out at the clouds from a window on a train. White, grey, black, doesn't matter. There's something in the sight of them that brings me a deep calm.

Some folks look up and see shapes or animals or faces. That's not me. Well, there was that one time. But I was seeing a lot of things in all sorts of places that day.

Anyway. I think I appreciate their separateness, their aloofness. The way they float above it all and seem so... unaffected by all that they witness. One gets the sense that, most times, they aren't even paying attention to us.

I need that. My work can devour me if I'm careless. I suppose it's not entirely the fault of my responsibilities though. I do have that sort of personality. Obsessive? Perhaps you could call it that. Focused would be my preference.

Regardless, my time on the train is like a life preserver to an overboard passenger adrift in raucous waters. It reminds me to breathe. That there are things to consider outside of what occupies my life while sitting at my desk. That there is still some humanity residing within my bones.

Or something like that. 

Maybe it's just better than making small talk with the vacuous people sitting nearby.

5 Comments:

Greg said...


I'm completely with you on the sledgehammer approach. Renovations should be fun! And supporting walls shouldn't be put that close to bathtubs anyway. And if the sledgehammer is really overkill, then there's always a chainsaw. You are Canadian after all, you have stereotypes to support and maintain!
I hope the bathroom redecoration all goes smoothly, though it must definitely help having a different home to live in while you get on with it :)
Hmm, I like the thoughtful nature of your piece today, especially some of the metaphors (like the life preserver one!) I'm completely on board with the view of clouds... and of the vacuous people all around us :)

[I know what you're going to think when you see who've I picked, but I would recommend watching the video and listening to the words; it's a nice example of someone poking fun at themselves :)]

Blank space by Taylor Swift
"Nice to meet you, where you been?"
Helga's opponent looked up at her and if looks could kill, Helga would have keeled over backwards clutching her throat and gasping for breath. "This is Scrabble," said the woman. Her name badge announced that she was called Mystfwgl. "Competitive scrabble."
"Yes," said Helga, smiling. She laid down seven tiles, spelling out WEIRDOES on the board. "Does that mean we can't be friends?"
Mystfwgl's lips curled in a silent snarl, and she studied her rack. Sighing heavily, and pressing the tiles down with rather more force than seemed necessary, she played WALTZES, the Z just missing the double letter score.
"Oh, bad luck," said Helga. Mystfwgl's glare intensified, and she hissed "Shhhhhh!" with a finger dramatically placed across her lips. Helga played DRAMATIC two rows above Mystfwgl's earlier MUCH and smiled. Mystfwgl turned purple.
TART was played next, followed by TALENTLESS crossing three other words, and then CHEAT.
"Oh really, was that necessary?" asked Helga. "Even my name's a real word, which is more than you can say!"
"Shut up and play!"
Helga's last play emptied her rack and used both of the blank tiles. Mystfwgl stared at a board that seemed to mock her; if the blank tiles were treated as blank spaces then Helga's last play was an uncouth suggestion. "I challenge." she stated, though her heart wasn't really in it.
Helga checked the scores, seeing that she was nearly 300 points ahead and smiled.
"Sure," she said, picking her tiles back up.

ivybennet said...

I've never done this prompt before so please bear with me. Greg, I am completely in love with that song right now! You've got it stuck in my head.

Overrated - Thriving Ivory

She makes herself at home; God, it’s better than her place. She clutched the ragged cardigan around her shoulders, trying to get warm in the lovely 70 degree apartment. She caught me looking at her and her gaze immediately dropped to the floor. In a motion probably meant to look as though she was fixing her hair, she rubbed a smudge of dirt off her cheek with the back of her hand.
“You can stay here as long as you like,” I said. The snowy tundra out the window gave another howl as if to repeat my offer. “Would you like some hot chocolate?”
I hadn’t been a kid in almost ten years, but I though hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows and a squirt of whipped cream (following a squirt directly into the mouth, of course) on top never went out of style. In the nervous twitch of her mouth, I thought I saw a smile and her eyes most definitely lit up. She nodded slightly.
I rushed to make myself useful.
She gingerly patted the warm ceramic mug between her hands. I did the same with my own, wondering if I had made the milk too hot or was simply still cold from the walk back to the apartment. We sat there in silence for a moment, her sitting at the island staring deeply into the melting cream and me leaning against the counter.
At last, she hesitantly brought the cup to her mouth and took an audible sip. Her mouth twitched again.
“Thank you,” she squeaked.
“Any time.”

Marc said...

Greg - ah, didn't even think of a chainsaw. Will be sure to suggest that next time!

I'll have to listen and watch that another time. But I promise to give it a shot at some point.

Heh, I will always appreciate writing that incorporates Scrabble. And you did it so well here! Though I am left wondering what the challenged word was...

Ivybennet - ah then, welcome to my favorite prompt!

That's a great opening line to work with. I've not heard that song before so I'll have to give it a listen soon.

Very intriguing scene here. You've got me wondering who these two are and how they came to be together like this. On top of all that, it's very deftly handled as well.

Gina Davis said...

LOL, I was indecisive and decided to write something with all these first lines in it. (see list of song titles below)
-------------------

All he could this was I'm too young for this. With a hundred dollar ring in his hand, he thought -No time like the present.

He jumped in his truck and started it up - as the radio singer sang, 'A little bit of guitar, a little bit of truck, a little bit of hound dog and a little bit of luck.'

He thought to himself, I am going to need a little luck. Worried that he was going to look just like a fool, still he was determined.

Finally he arrived and she was waiting for him. He gets out of the truck and stands there, with ring in his hand. He looks up and say.

'I feel no shame, I know where I come from, How about you?' She shakes her head.

He says, 'Your not sure you love me?' She swallows hard. He ask, 'Are you sure enough to let me go?'

She abruptly shouts, 'NO, don't go.'

She walks over to him and gently places her hand on the hand holding the ring. Looks up into his eyes and says, 'Ask me.'


---------------------
Your not sure you love me but your not sure enough to let me go. - Wreckers, Leave the Pieces

All he could think about was I'm too young for this - Kenny Chesney, There goes my life

First time I looked in your eyes I knew, I would do anything for you. - Keith Urban, Your Everything

I know where I come from, how about you. Eric Churh, How about you?

A little bit of guitar, a little of truck, a little of hound dog and a little big of luck. - Craig Morgan, Little bit of Life

I feel no shame, - Little Big Town, Boondocks,

Had a hundred ring in my hand. - Kenny Chesney, I lost it.

I must look like just a fool. - Dierks Bentley, Settle for a slowdown

Marc said...

Gina - that's actually an impressive number of lines to work into a fairly short piece. Nicely done!

I think my favorite of the bunch is 'I know where I come from, how about you', especially with the way you incorporated it.