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The Door to Nowhere - My Response to a Picture Prompt Writing Challenge
Come one, come all, a new test of your writing abilities awaits you.
Was it really only yesterday?
I can’t remember. My days don’t end. The sun comes up and it goes down again, but my eyes don’t close.
I don’t sleep, therefore there is no yesterday.
As I sit here playing endless games of backgammon with myself, I have no hopes of tomorrow, for it never comes if you don’t go to sleep, right?
I don’t mind being by myself in this tiny two room space I call home. Oh, wait. I have a bathroom. Three room space – excuse me.
I’ve been sitting on this floor so long I don’t even bother to pull out the couch. It’s extremely uncomfortable, but I don’t sleep anyway, so why bother? I’m too wired to have sex, so there’s another reason not to pull it out.
Ha ha. Did I just make a funny?
Here, let me show you around. This room is where I live. Here against the wall is my pull-out couch. I can’t remember the last time I pulled it out; it’s uncomfortable and takes up too much room in my 300 square foot efficiency. Over there, against the opposite wall is my little TV sitting on top of an empty spool of electrical wire. You’d never know it's an empty spool. I’m quite the decorator and have it disguised by a turquoise-colored tablecloth. Next to it are my speakers and a primitive stereo system. Gotta have music, doncha know?
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Follow me. Over here, a few steps to the left is my kitchen. Yep, I’ve got a fridge, a tiny stove and a sink. If’n ya gotta pee, just turn to the right and walk right in. What do you mean that’s gross? I find it pretty convenient.
Yeah, I have a couple of windows to let the light in, even though it hurts my eyes, but curtains take care of that.
I’ve got six cats. They’re my buddies. I take good care of them. I give them love and make sure they’re fed. And they love me in return. They are free to come and go through the front door, cuz I leave it open for them. The only time I venture out is to go to work. I can’t even tell you what I do for a living right now; it’s a blur, but I must have put whatever I do on automatic pilot. I’m good at that. Automatic pilot lets me fly.
Oh, sorry, I got off track. Walk over here with me and take a look in my fridge. Let’s see… there’s Vodka in the freezer (saves on ice), juice, and iced tea. There’s a ton of hot dogs. That’s what I feed my cats when I run out of cat food.
As for me, well I’m a helluva cook, but that’s a lot of effort for one person who has no appetite anyway. When was the last time I ate?
Was it really only yesterday? Shit, I don’t know. Yesterday hasn’t happened yet; I’m still on the eternal “today”.
You might think I’m lonely, but I’m really not. I have people come over all the time. We play backgammon and once I even let someone write a poem in my journal of poetry. I write poetry all the time. It makes me feel alive. But I have to admit, to this day, I can’t put the face to the man whom I allowed to pen in my very private journal. Maybe one day I’ll show it to you, but he’s gone from my memory.
Anyway, back to what I was saying: I have people come over all the time. They bring me snow in a state that doesn’t get snow from the heavens. How cool is that?
Snow makes me really thirsty. Maybe because it makes me talk a lot and my throat gets dry. Anyway, I find vodka mixed with juice or iced tea – or water, if it comes down to that – keeps my snow-filled mind on an even keel.
I can go for days like that and never get hungry. Good thing – that means I only need to worry about feeding my cats. Besides, I think I look pretty good at 95 pounds.
I've gotten really good at playing backgammon. I beat everyone I challenge. Hell, I even beat myself when I play all by my lonesome. How do you play a two-person game with yourself? Well, you imagine someone is sitting on the other side of the board and you don’t cheat.
You’ve had snow days, I’m sure. They keep you inside and force you to entertain yourself. It’s no different when the snow comes in a form that doesn’t melt. At least as long as you don’t put water to it. I don’t do that. No. That would mean I have a problem. And I don’t have a problem. I just like the way I feel when it snows in Florida.
I can do anything. I’m extremely poetic and philosophical when it snows. I’m at my best. And I’m skinny. Whoo hoo, down to a size zero!
Shit! I’m not only poetic and philosophical, but I’m intuitive. My boyfriend’s cheating on me – I can feel it. I go through that door – the Door to Nowhere. This time it leads me somewhere and I know exactly what I’ll do when I get there.
Fueled with Florida-provided snow and a steady dose of Vodka, I hop in my Toyota and head for a destination I know by heart. There’s no answer at the door, yet I hear voices, one of which belongs to the homeowner and the holder of my heart.
Italian, Irish, English, Scottish, German, and Cherokee – don’t mess with me!
I round the corner and make my way to the back yard. I’m coming in, dammit! I find a clay pot and throw it against the window. It bounces back to me like a rubber ball.
Now I’m really pissed!
I ball my right hand up into a fist and – voila! – contact! I break through the double-tempered window and climb through, dripping blood all over the place.
I must look a fright. The woman my boyfriend picked up in a bar - complete with black eye and obviously someone else’s problem - high-tails it out of there right quick. (To this day, I have a scar on my finger where I’d busted through the glass. If I hadn't been so fucked up, I probably would have ended up in the hospital.)
I don’t remember the ensuing conversation, but let’s just say that that night it stopped raining Vodka, but the snow continued to sprinkle my being.
I’ve made my point. I go home to heal my wounds and my broken heart.
Thank God for snow! However, I never touch Vodka again after that incident.
No worries, I’ll just substitute Rum for Vodka and carry on.
Was it really only yesterday? I can’t tell. I haven’t slept. How many days, weeks, months have gone by?
Understanding the addict
Man, my nose burns. I’m right handed, so I do everything with the right side of my body. No problem, I have a left nose! It takes a bit of effort, but I train my left nose (nostril) to do the job of its stronger – and now depleted – counterpart.
Then it happens. I no longer like the way I feel when it snows, yet I can’t stop making my proverbial snow angels.
Snow does not angels make.
What do people do when they can no longer tolerate the weather? If they’re bold enough and strong enough, they move to a different environment, a different climate where they can breathe, where the doors open to vast expanses of knowledge and happiness.
I look at that Door to Nowhere and realize I've kept it shut. I can open it if I want to and get myself out of the hellhole that I've called home for far too long.
I took a look at that door, bade it adieu, and never looked back.
I moved to a chillier climate, but one that would never be as chilly as the one that held the Door to Nowhere, for that door eventually leads to somewhere: Death.
I don’t regret not trying to open that door. I am happy I found a new one that is always open. Open to opportunity. Open to Love. Open to Life. Open to me!
Was it really only yesterday? No. I woke up. It was a lifetime ago.
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining, or Rhyming
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