Writing Prompt: Perfect Strangers

By the time I got to bed, it was nearly 4am. We had started talking at around 10pm in the bar. Just one drink, is what I had promised myself. He was by all accounts a stranger, yet in that 6 hours I had revealed more about myself than I had to anyone in such a short space of time before. We talked about life, our jobs, our families, history, interests, hobbies, vices, and anecdotes.

When we said goodbye, I was exhausted from the emotional weight of our discourse along with too much wine. This person has inspired a sort of frank unveiling of myself that in my heart I knew would never be repeated. It was for that realisation that I was sorry. It was as though a stranger had unlocked a treasure chest of memories and experiences that I had taken for granted and I didn’t want the night to end. It was only the knowledge that I had to be at work and coherent for a meeting that made me draw the night to a close.

When I got up the next morning, I stretched, made myself some coffee and replayed the conversation over and over in my head. I’ve mourned for that lost night. I felt like someone had given me a wonderful surprise gift and just as quickly took it away.

In the end, I’m glad to have had the encounter. I know we’ll never meet again, but at least I know that connection to a person in such an impromptu and intimate way is possible. After so much time has passed, I still think back to that incident.

Have you ever connected to someone you knew you’d never see again? How did the experience change or influence you?

Writing Prompt: Perfect Strangers


Quote for the day

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.

~ Lord Byron

Writing Prompt: The Mantle piece

As I draw my gaze across the top of the mantle piece, there are items there that say something about me and my home. At the far left, there is a small wooden box. In it, I keep my passport, an expired gym card and a floppy disk whose contents are a long forgotten. Behind it, there is a miniature frame with a drawing of cats having a tea party in a garden. The picture was a gift from my mother in law, purchased when we wandered into an auction in Kent on a warm Spring day, many years ago. There is a bottle of vanilla perfume from The Body Shop. It came as part of a buy-two-get-one-free deal, proof that I’m a sucker for marketing ploys. Candleholders housing scented candles of orange blossom, jasmine and lavender, fragrances that calm me.

Look at your mantle or pick a shelf in your house. What’s on it? What do the items there say about you? Does anything trigger a memory?

What’s on your mantle piece?

Writing Prompt: The Mantle-piece


Quote for the day

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.

~ Alice Walker

Writing Prompt: Missing something/Something Missing

A friend of mine has been in hospital for the past week. He had surgery on Thursday and although the news is that it was successful, I’m not going to be at ease until I see him for myself and know that he’s ok. Circumstances prevent me from visiting for a while, but I’ve been missing our chats. Thinking back over our relationship, his absence is both conspicuous and reminds me of how supportive of me he has been over the years. He saw me through the highs and lows of my career, my relationship, deaths, injuries, writer’s block and even the mundane problems that fly at us every day.

The helplessness I feel at the moment frustrates me. I guess sometimes we don’t realise what people mean to you until you’re faced with the prospect of not having them anymore. For now, I wait for news, think of the good times, pray for a speedy recovery and store up the news and stories I’ll share when he’s back on his feet again. I guess I just miss my friend.

Writing Prompt: Missing something/something missing

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