Free Writing – Day #1

The aim: to get writing again.

The method: using Free Writing Prompts from this list, over the next couple of weeks. Today’s prompt is in bold at the beginning of the piece.

The time limit: 15 minutes

Location: the communal cafe table at The Drugstore in Summer Hill

A man gets into a cab at the airport after a long flight from there to here. A cabin that had been filled with sounds: the dull, persistent, but reassuring sound of the engines; the snores of sleepers – regular and yet irregular enough to be annoying; the faint chatter of flight attendants in the galley. Mercifully, the children behind him had fallen asleep.

He had been seated in that full cabin with a head full of angst. No mercy, no let up. He envied those who slept soundly. There was no sleep for him.

He’d tried the mindfulness exercises they’d taught at the staff development day at work. He tuned into the rhythmic snoring of his neighbour in seat 11A. He took note of the tingling in his feet. He acknowledged the nervy, jumpy pulses in his legs – not quite giving in to the urge to jump up and run down the aisle.

All that simply reminded him of the jumping and running he had given into a mere 11 hours earlier.

He’d jumped off that sofa, hastened out of that apartment, muttering without conviction, ‘I’ll be in touch.’

He wouldn’t be. He’d had a fright. He’d come close to the edge of entanglement with the life of another.

As he sat now, in the back of the cab, taking the last leg of his flight from commitment, he congratulated himself. He sighed and sank back into the worn vinyl, finally achieving a state of mindfulness as he noticed the faint scents of tobacco, liquor, perfume and vomit – vainly covered by the Lone Pine air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror.

The mindful moment lasted but one moment.

Soon he was anticipating the clean lines of his home, the clean floor, the luxurious leather of his sofa, the perfectly placed lamps and objets d’art.

His shelter.

It had been a close call! But, once again, he’d escaped to the warm embrace of solitary familiarity.


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