Friday, June 08, 2007

Long Sleeves Year Around

I often ask students to write prompts, one of my favorites being whose head they'd like to see on a platter, a spin-off of old John the Baptist who had a pretty tough end of things, not that being out in the forest surviving on locusts and honey sounds like a real relaxing prelude to his untimely demise. I suppose prophets have always had it a little rough, knowing more than the rest of us. I've been known to whip out a prediction or two at times and that rare combination of insight, premonition, and sheer dumb luck isn't any fun either like the time I wrote an innocent greeting card to someone thanking them for their friendship and had a sudden flash that the friendship would die soon, that I would grow to loathe this person, a rare condition for me, but a condition nonetheless.

But I digress only to come around again -- sometimes my students surprise me with this prompt. Not with their deep hatred of certain people as we all detest someone at some point, but that the head that many of them want on a platter the most is their own. This insight is not lost on me, particularly in the succinct way that my students often convey it -- from I wish I could stop doing dumbass things like not paying my car insurance and then crashing my car to I hate when I burn myself with a curling iron, but I can't help it and now I have to wear long sleeves year around. I believe that what we do to others is often wrong, but karma generally takes care of those situations. What wounds our souls the most are the self-betrayals, the small and large sins we commit against ourselves, the self-imposed hells that we create. We live in them until we're ready to move on, taking with us the baggage that we can't seem to lose, no matter how much we pretend it's not ours.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I have had my fun even if I ain't gonna get well no more." Howlin' Wolf

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Permanent Midnight

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Friday! Two more days until The Sopranos!


eric313 said...

And what a dastardly prompt it is, Michelle. Love it. It spun off from the biblical structure exercise. Too bad my story was such a giant floater. But now you ask everyone for their take.

Flattery is my skeleton key.

the walking man said...

"300 pounds of heavenly joy"
"I was born for comfort not for speed" Howling Wolf

As you know very well I have always loved your prompts, some of best early saved work came from them.

I think now the most common answer would be your fellow Texan but that wouldn't be my answer, nor would it be my own head.

I'd like to see a multitude of heads on a platter; the penis heads of every man alive who has ever raped their child, or any woman in non consensual sex, the penis head of every man alive who uses that head to think with and there by spreading stds and causing so much hurt to so many young women who were seduced into sex before they were ready for the responsibility.

As for the baggage thing and the crap we load on ourselves that has no need to be there but we can't find a way to let go of it. A psychological trip to Northwest airlines, check it in there. They'll be sure to lose it for you.



paul said...


Jon said...

"What wounds our souls the most are the self-betrayals." Oh yes. The cringe factor. Looking back on the dumbass thing and seeing it now with older eyes, removed from the then immediate circumstance. Cringe.

Sometimes the head I'd want to see is my own.

Susan Miller said...

I love this post and maybe its because I've known for several years now that I would always be either my best friend or my worst enemy. At some point it had to be my choice.

I adore what you do here.

Charles Gramlich said...

Humn, can I have several platters? I've got a list.