Sunday Writing Prompt “Everyday Objects”

The Window

He pressed his palm to the glass. The pane was cold, its expression sullen. The rain had stopped more than an hour ago but the sun remained hidden behind layers of ash-colored gauze. He hadn’t been outside for months and in that time the seasons had changed without so much as an acknowledgment. No one had written, rang, pinged, or visited in over a week. He’d imposed his absence without much consideration for anyone’s feelings, his own included. Even if desired how was he ever to return to his old life? He was unrecognizable even to himself, even amidst the gradations that he alone had witnessed. His beard was long and gnarled like the roots of an upended tree. Shadows gathered about his crevices. His clothes were rumpled and malodorous. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d taken a shower or brushed his teeth. His nails were worried to the quick, coagulated blood stuck to his cuticles. His hands looked old, his face looked old, even his skin seemed out of place on its dilapidated frame. The window’s gaze was steady and patient. He saw nothing of his reflection in the glass, only his own backyard which in neglect, had grown wild. Piles of rotten apples spilled over the lawn collecting vermin and insects alike. Inside was even worse. The air was thick and meaty, food deliquesced in the sinks, discarded and unwashed garments littered the floor. Dust and decay gathered about him and he could feel himself submitting to them by degrees. A towering stone wall prevented him from seeing into the adjacent property, all he saw when looking out was his own walled in lawn, with its dying and disheveled flowers and it’s mealy, brown harvest. The window groaned beneath a penitent wind. “What have I done?” He repeated (as if in response) three times each version more shrill than the one preceding.


Leave Me Alone

I hammer down my initiative,

my curious expressions,

my solvent and elevating patterns.

I crouch distractedly beneath

a noxious wave of adrenalin.

How does one manage

the invisible terrors raised by the mind?

Objectivity is an illusion,

opinion implacable.

I take my demons with a shot of salt

but they only scream louder.

My muscles are a murder of nerves.

I loosen my gravity,

collide mid rotation

and rain down in chasms.

I am incomprehensible despite

my affinity for words.

My mouth dry, tongue a skein,

a skirmish, a skelter

of unverifiable platitudes.

I have amnesia,

it came upon me just now

despite no obvious confrontation.

You are so lovely but I hate you.

Hate you for compelling me to speak,

to assuage, to endear myself.

I must be left alone.

I am only clever when hidden.

In the open air, I am a fool,

a conjurer of excuses

sure to baffle and offend.

This poem is based somewhat loosely on my social experiences (not just the one I will mention below). Whenever I go into town people approach me, strangers. Strangers that want money, directions, companionship, assistance of every conceivable kind (doesn’t even matter that I am in no way qualified to provide the assistance). These strangers are often very persistent (to the point where I would consider it bullying). Going on and on and on about whatever their issue is no matter how politely or rudely I attempt to dissuade them. Screaming or running after me when I attempt to leave. This is a constant issue for me and because of my PTSD and social phobia it is really pushing me to agoraphobia. I usually only step foot in the city alone when I am going to therapy. I am very pushed for time when I arrive. My therapist’s office is a 20 minute walk from the bus stop so I don’t even have the time for a short conversation let alone to hear someone’s life story. I don’t make eye contact and I walk very swiftly but like I said the strangers jump out at me and often run after me calling out. After therapy I am so fragile I can’t handle strangers and again I don’t have a lot of extra time before the bus arrives.

Yesterday while attempting to get off the bus, a drunk man started pleading with me to take him home. I am terrified of drunk men, it is linked with my PTSD and it sent me into a full blown panic complete with nightmares. I have tried politeness, rudeness, and complete avoidance. So now I look to you guys for advice. What can I do or say to shut someone down instantly? Is there some way that I can dress that would prevent people from approaching me in the first place? People are also inclined to assist me so it shouldn’t be anything that makes it look like I need help or a stranger might take me home!