Hearing Things

A photo by Alejandro Escamilla. unsplash.com/photos/BbQLHCpVUqA
Photo by Alejandro Escamilla

After a moment of silence, she spoke again, holding her coffee cup in slender hands.

“These words don’t belong to me anymore. The moment these words hit this piece of paper, they were instantly deported from the intimate haven of my brain, where they had since overstayed their welcome – it’s time now to release them into the open world, where they can become much more responsible by entering other people’s brains and overstaying in theirs instead. Annoy them, maybe.” She laughed, perhaps a little morosely, and paused, drinking in the aroma of her coffee.

She sipped slowly, continuing to speak:

“When these words step into someone’s mind, their rusty, stagnant brains slowly spring into motion, and generate possibilities that they never knew existed before. Ideas! Do you see? This is the power of knowledge. To look once more again at the world with a renewed sense of perspective; to look forth upon life once more, perhaps, with a replenished wonder.” She stopped again, and then smirked, wisely offering up another choice barb that I  was already expecting. Elise was an absolute sour puss, but she always spoke the truth – or rather, something that nobody ever talked about, or deigned to remotely discuss.  A good thinker. A little dreamy, perhaps –  but boy, was her mind sharp.

“You know, I never did like those inspirational quote thingamajigs on social media.”

I shrugged. “My girlfriend loves them. She follows a couple of those on Instagram.”

She gave a sardonic laugh, and lit a cigarette with her slim fingers. Puffing away rather roguishly she said,

“Pretty pointless, don’t you think, Eric?”

“How so?”

They inspire you into thinking that this is supposedly the way to go in life. They don’t tell you how. People, being people, always want an easy way out, so they pin this mantra into their brains while having their expensive, organic breakfast muesli – much rather like their expensive organic breakfast, it becomes a goal point for everyone to emulate, that “automatic” magic recipe to success, and to a better life. But they don’t realize that it takes enormous effort on their part – it has to be truly absorbed by the brain before you can even start going down the path.  The heart and mind must agree unanimously before this journey can be undertaken. Take, for example – that deceptively simple quote, ‘believe in yourself’. Yes, on its own, it’s truly the best thing to do when things get rough. But to a person who’s been repeatedly torn down her entire life for being what she was, or simply not having enough self-esteem as a result of, well, life, that quote isn’t going to do her justice, isn’t it? She’s got to do some soul-searching before she can realize this and confront her demons head-on. That little sentence doesn’t really say what she so desperately needs. ” Then Elise sighed. “But then again, I see some really good quotes from time to time.” She took a long drag on her cigarette.

“Fuck, I just realized. It’s just the herd mentality that I’m so sick of, I guess.”

She blew out smoke with apparent disinterest. “Look, can we talk about something else? This is so annoying.”

(A response to the Poetic Therapy prompt of the week, Rust, run by the LiteraryFuzz blog. Apparently this just came out after much rambling, my brain is now organizing a creative strike…)

© Zelda Reville


6 thoughts on “Hearing Things

  1. Holy… wow! This is a fantastic take on the prompt. You’ve created an intriguing character with a well-defined point of view. I’m happy your creative response took you down the path of fiction, I enjoy that such diverse responses can come from a simple word/prompt.

    As for the herd mentality, I can understand where Elise is coming from. Wouldn’t it be an interesting world if every single person felt free to be as unique as the have the potential to be?

    Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the prompt! I was planning to write a poem for it, but I got stuck and this emerged, somewhat haphazardly… Really, really glad to see your stamp of approval! And yes, Elise is very frustrated with why people can’t think for themselves but choose instead to go with the herd. She’s a sourpuss, but she’s still a nice girl. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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