Online Quizzes

I signed up for an online course, $838 dollars for the convenience of not taking time off work, which I guess falls under the term counter-intuitive. But hey, it’s expanding my horizons.

The first assessment is a quiz, and it’s got my favourite question, I think ever.
From the multiple choice answers offered, it advises me to choose the correct six choices.
Coincidentally, the first six seem to be the right ones, but then it turns out that there are only six options.

I do quite well on the first assessment.

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Small Talk

Normally I’m pretty good at small talk, asking people questions about how they’ve been and what their plans are for the future. But sometimes, it just doesn’t come out and my hesitation chokes me into silence like a piece of meat, insufficiently chewed.
They’ll throw out their opening line. maybe;

How are you?

Yeah, pretty good——

And it’s off, mind scrambling to think of something to say, something relevant to recall about this person showing a polite interest in my life, but it freezes, stagnates, the silence goes on too long, creeps into awkward territory. I might raise my coffee to my lips to show that I have said all I have.
More often than not, the other person falters, but recovers, flailing out another question or launching a diatribe about themselves, which I greatly appreciate.

It’s worst when they’re multiple. Then they can just shoot each other a glance
“This guy is weird”
and continue on with each other, my opportunity dead, the awkwardness settling between us like a fog.

Disastrous

Running at night

It’s nice, it’s cool, there isn’t much ambient noise, so if you have headphones in, all you hear is your background music and the easy ragged breathes when your feet tap the ground, over and over.

My mind wanders freely when I run, hood pulled up, the internal heat building up in my head and chest, ventilation lacking, warming me. I don’t know if it’s because my brain is focusing on something else, but it seems to let it’s walls down when I run. Things I either consciously or subconsciously keep down rise to the surface.

“Was I not good enough for her, is she happy now? With who?”

“Am I kidding myself with this job, what I think I can make out of it?”

“Where does my time go? Am I just a prisoner carving dashes the wall, waiting for for my time to be up?”

“Am I lonely, or comfortable being alone?”

Yep, running is the time for angst. It’s good though, it gets it out of the way and I go back to living my smiley, unobserved life, self doubt a little tamed by another few kilometres on black asphalt under flickering lights.

 

Tailor

Clothes can make or break your day.
Ill-fitted, chafing, too cold, warm, mismatched or confidence draining.
Now a lot of us have the luxury to purchase clothes from huge variety of manufacturers, retailers, materials, to hunt and find the perfect jacket for the coming winter, the perfect shoes for working those long hours.
If the clothes aren’t a good fit, we notice, we feel uncomfortable, we become inclined to find replacements.

Not with friends though.

via Daily Prompt: Tailor

Bury

She used to occupy my thoughts all the time.
After we parted though, either consciously or as a by-product of time passing,
s he got buried, deep in my mind.
Now she’s way down in that lizard part, only bursting forth, called upon, in moments of great fear or anger.
Like the mid-air dump of adrenaline from a high fall, the instinctual violence against a paralysing threat.

You forget about it but, always it’s with you, there when you need it.

via Daily Prompt: Bury

Sailing away

My city is split by a wide, winding river lined with restaurants and lively bars for your enjoyment, flooding occasionally to give you a sense of community solidarity and something to talk about.

It’s one am and I’m sitting ¬†by the black, snaking mass on my break.
Drunk revellers stumble past laughing, music thumps dully in the background,
but the night is calm and it’s starting to rain.

Laughing couples dash for cover as the drops light up the river with a thousand ripples of reflections and it seems to me like a giant fabric just dancing and waving all at once, lit up in brilliant purple and red from the lights of the bridge.
All the other noise seems to drop away and god you know, the sound of the rain hitting water is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.

I close my eyes and imagine being out on my own, on a little sail boat in the middle of the ocean, totally alone, at peace, sailing away with nothing in sight.
I imagine this is what it would sound like.
I feel myself smiling.

I open my eyes, the club music unmutes itself in my head.
Eyes drifting to my watch tell me I need to return to work.
I realise I’ve got three hours left, in wet clothes.

but the faint little smile doesn’t leave my lips for far longer than that.

via Daily Prompt: Sail

dash of Bukowski

After making my lemon meringue (shot of vanilla galliano, dash of cointreau, lemon slices, two shots pineapple juice, shaken over ice, served long) to take back to my room alone, I think of Bukowski.

For a long time I thought that his power was that he was unhappy, but didn’t give a fuck.

Now I know that his power was that, unhappy sometimes, like all of us, he was happy, gave a fuck what people thought, but kept on going.
He was an ugly old drunk who wrote poetry, hated his own work, got rejected time after time after time after time and still just… went on, found some happiness from what he did.
At every turn be shown for what he was and not fight it, accept it.
Became famous and still, live how he always had
He turned apathy into acceptance, graced nonchalance into zen.

There’s a bit in one of his books, he gets driven around to a few speaking gigs by a student, huge fan of his, says he’s his favourite living poet.
Bukowski fucks it up, gets wasted, continually, gives incoherent speeches and all the while his student grits his teeth, goes along, because he’s his idol.

Maybe I’m just another in a legion on misguided fucks worshipping a lecherous old barfly for all the wrong reasons.

Maybe

via Daily Prompt: Dash

The Night Bus

Sometimes I take the bus home; they run all night.

Whenever I hop on I feel like a part of something.
A temporary member of a secluded little society, the worn down driver greeting me wordlessly, my fellow passengers not; absorbed in their phones, books, blankly staring out the window, too tired to sleep.
There’s no talk, no verbal camaraderie, but we’re together nonetheless.

We roll quietly along the asphalt. Noises come when we shudder to a halt to collect silhouettes from the side of the road, to join us on our journey, always with one hand raised, assured of our aid.
So thus we spend our short time, together whilst alone, the blackness and silence of outside the glass squeezing our world in a little bit tighter.

When I finally step off into the cool night, into the yellow wash cast by the streetlights clouds of moths beat themselves to death on, I always feel a distinct sense of being totally alone.
The bus rumbles to life, my oasis of belonging fading into the night.
I feel nostalgia for the community that left me behind.

via Daily Prompt: Passenger

Snack

I knew a girl once, we would meet up every week or so to spend some time together.
It was only after a few months of this that I realised I knew nothing about her.
I mean, in the beginning there was the polite attempt at more, but there was no real connection and it quickly regressed into laid-back semi-scheduled sex. it was better that way.

Of course, eventually she drifted into a serious relationship and out of our casual one.

I ate a whole block of mozzarella cheese the other day, and after, during the nausea, the stomach pain thought: perhaps that would have been better, as a snack.

via Daily Prompt: Snack