The Catalyst

A Writing Teacher Writes (plus some writing prompts and recipes)

The Beginning July 12, 2009

Filed under: Vignettes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 4:10 pm

I’m wary of entering the world of blogging with the high energy everyone seems to have, and then fizzling out.

So I’m going to commit to posting a poem or short piece here every week. A good goal that seems attainable.

This piece was generated from a prompt you might try at home or in your own workshops, classes or writing groups:

“If you were here. . .” (Yes. I did use the dreaded, overused ellipsis mark!)


If you were here, we’d be making a plan, a Pride Weekend plan, a disco, Pink Saturday, where-do-we-eat in-between-the-two-movies-at-the-film-festival plan.

If you were here, you’d be wearing something outrageous: a ruffled vest with no shirt, or short-shorts, or a pink boa.

(You are pink and I am yellow.)

If you were here, we’d have to watch out for one another, have to step carefully, have to seriously consider if Estasy is really something two grown men in their forties should do, and then perhaps split the hit in half before we ordered a ten-ounce martini: key lime, or chocolate, or pineapple.

If you were here and we were running late, I’d be stressing out, waiting for the bus, looking at my watch, and you’d pull me in against your chest, and I’d smell your clean, soapy scent, and you’d say, “Easy, Little One. Easy.”

You’ve been floating up into my thoughts all day. I see men with pale skin, large green eyes, hairy arms, long, thin legs, and I can feel myself longing for you, for you, dearly departed, dear, dear, Dean. Your love was unquestionable, your faith in me eternal.

Are you watching me struggle with French on the web sites I’m visiting that have no British icon, no translator? Remember when I asked you how to say carrot in French, and you said, “Carrote,” and I said, “Fuck you. I’m serious,” and you said, “It’s carrote, Little One,” and I thought you were giving me shit? Years later, I bought contact paper for my new apartment—a white background and little drawings of vegetables with their names in French—and there you were—here you are—rising up from the safe place I keep you, always keep you, too afraid to hold the truth of your absence out in front of me.

It’s normal, I know, to miss someone like this; you were my best friend, my closest friend. Brother, companion, where are you now?

And Randy—that little piglet Randy—remember your friend Randy?—he had the nerve to find me on Google. Sent me some chirpy little email—“I found you! I found you!—he said–“I think of you all the time!” Randy. I never really liked him. And I felt angry, having to tell him that you were gone—passed away—all the fucking euphemisms: you’re dead. I had to tell him. And all I could think was Why you and not Randy? He never did anything to me, but I was cold. I told him I didn’t want to chat—we were never that close. I’m like that now; I don’t want the superficial small talk. But I was really mad because it was you who had died and not Randy.

“Easy, Little One. Easy.”

That’s you, rolling around inside my head.

Waiting for me in line outside the theater. Holding a place in line for me.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” I’d say. “Parking was a nightmare.”

But you’d just pull me in and say, “I’m thrilled to be here with you.”

That’s what you’d say.

You would.


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