I attended a writing workshop, at which the participants were given 12 minutes to write in response to several prompts. The prompts, given to us during the course of the 12 minutes, were to be incorporated into our writing. These prompts were:
- I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry
- Chinese take-out food
- A slipper
- A train whistle
The following story resulted:
Spleen My spleen has exploded. That’s my thinking, anyway. I don’t know what or where a spleen is, but clearly something inside me has gone terribly wrong, and if it had been one of the more popular organs, the heart, or lungs, say, I’m sure I would be dead. As it is, I am just experiencing more pain than I have words for. Pain has taken over one quarter of my torso. The lower right quadrant. That part of my body is nothing but pain… probably caused by an exploding spleen. How long can I survive with an exploding spleen? Clearly, I’m living on borrowed time. I should probably be in a hospital, but I gave up my car just two weeks ago, to go green. That’s right, I’ve made a major transition in lifestyle – after the divorce, I gave away everything that harmed the Earth in its use. I get around on my bike, I only eat food that I grow myself… or steal (no one will read this, I hope) and avoiding animal products, I just wear these soft, puffy slippers that she left behind. I was feeling really good about my choices. But look where they got me. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Oh, my tear ducts are making the decision for me. Cry. Train whistling… maybe I can flag it down. No, that’s absurd. Ow. This hurts. Dammit. The pain is just getting worse. Can’t move. But I feel the need to keep typing this last story of my life for those who find me. Sadly, the Chinese take-out has spilled all over my writing paper. But that’s – wait… the Chinese takeout…. It smells… not right. This is way too much pain for food poisoning, and I don’t feel like vomiting. Spoke too soon. Hold on. Ok, maybe I will live. Now, I’m feeling a bit embarrassed that I blamed this on a completely innocent organ. As far as I know, my spleen has never harmed me. Perhaps it helps me in some way, I don’t know. It’s embarrassing how long a fella can live on this Earth without even knowing what his own organs do. It’s like my pancreas, and that thing that grows big in men – the prostate. What do any of them do? Nobody knows. Perhaps they taste good to carnivores. I shall remember to ask whoever eats me if my organs please them. The pain is subsiding a little, bubbling up and down. That invitation to the Toyota place – I thought I threw that out. Some sort of open house. Sounds annoying. Maybe I should go. Maybe I should get a car as a back-up. A hybrid. I’ll only drive it in cases of exploding organs. I could even drive it to a shoe store for some less furry non-leather footwear. Sounds like a plan.