For this prompt, I offered the writers in the room these three phrases:
Do you remember?
How many ways can someone be an asshole?
Sometimes, there will be sorrow.
Here’s what I wrote:
Paranoia and Anxiety showed up yesterday asking, “Did you accomplish everything on your list last week?”
“No,” I say, the heartburn beginning. “My sister was visiting.”
“What if she gets sick soon?” they asked in unison. “Your mom was already sick by 53. She was already showing signs of early onset.”
Worry blew in through the window and sat on my lap, wringing her hands. “It could happen to you too. And what about your brother and that thing on his chest?”
“Your landlord is dying,” Paranoia and Anxiety said. “What’s going to happen to you when he dies? Where are you going to live?”
Humor calls on my land line to save me.
“Remember what your neighbor said? ‘If a new owner wants to move in,’ he said, nodding towards apartment #2,’he’ll probably want to move in there and get rid of them. It’s like a ghetto apartment in there. White trash.'”
Hope sends me a card, floating amidst the bills and junk mail. “Don’t forget about me,” he says. “I’m still around.” And Faith leaves me a voice mail: “Keep me in mind,” she says. “If you focus on me daily, I’ll be there.”
Abandon stumbles in with a bottle of Vodka, saying, “Fuck it! Let’s party, man!”
Meanwhile, Beauty brings me a handful of roses and sits down with my newest coffee table book.
“Can you smell the butternut squash lasagna?” Pleasure asks.
“It’s lovely,” Beauty answers.
Desire wraps his arms around my Italian belly, saying, “Damn! You’re so fuckin’ sexy, baby!” This on a day when all my pants feel tight and I’ve got hair sprouting on my shoulders.
“This whole place could crumble to the ground,” Paranoia and Anxiety say. “And there’s bound to be a terrorist attack again somewhere nearby soon.”
“There are everyday heroes protecting us,” Hope says.
“Aren’t the grapevines a lovely color this time of the year? ” Beauty asks, looking up from the art book for a moment.
Desire sends me a text: ” You put me under a spell!” he writes. “I want you, I want you, I want you!”