The Catalyst

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

Love is the Price You Pay March 31, 2012

Filed under: Vignettes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 5:14 pm

It’s definitely spring. I know this because the word love seems to keep popping up in all of my prompts and most of my writing. The prompts that I offered this time were:

Screwing bi-weekly

Words and Wars

I can’t save you

Love is the price you pay

That last one produced the following piece.


If you interpret the lyrics in about half of Madonna’s new album, you’ll come to the conclusion that she’s really pissed off. The woman is mad. And who wouldn’t be? No pre-nup and a seven million dollar divorce settlement for her ex? Well, no one really knows what happened between them, but when she sings, I want you to take me like you took your money/Take me in your arms until your last breath/I want you to hold me like you hold your money/Hold me in your arms until there’s nothing left, I feel the pain and abandonment.

Not that he sued me for anything, but I’m walking around in his black Prada pants I recently had hemmed, and that periwinkle cashmere sweater that still smells like him—though I’ve had it dry cleaned twice—and I’m remembering what it felt like to hope for a home together, not a tiny apartment, or a fire escape with violas in window boxes and a terracotta pot of jonquils, but a real garden.

“Plant your own garden,” the little asshole in my head says, sipping slimming Sencha green tea, and exuding the kind of Madonna confidence I never can seem to hold onto. And okay, sure. I pay my own bills and make my own lunch; I grocery shop and mop my own floors; I take my dependable car in for $500 tune-ups and wash my own undies. That’s all good.

And I’m okay riding in Coach, as long as I have an aisle seat, as long as I’m not too close to the lavatory, or the chatty flight attendants’ station, but it would have been nice to have been upgraded with all of those fucking miles he’s accumulated traveling the world with all of his other rich friends. We never traveled together. I couldn’t even get him to meet me in Rome for a weekend when he was in Paris. “I’ll pay for your ticket,” I offered, though he had a million dollars in the bank. It’s the gesture that counts, right? Well, he never was one to show up, so why am I spending so much time thinking about him in the moments when I should be harmonizing with the Queen of Pop? Love spent/Feeling love spent/Yeah, I’m love spent/Wondering where the love went.

I guess it’s because I came across a little plastic key chain from the vet today. It’s got a scan code on it for the chip implanted in his little bulldog’s wrinkly neck. He wanted me to have one in case she ever got lost. It’s a way to help her find her way back home, to us, although now I think I should give it back because there’s no us anymore. And I can’t stand the thought of her being lost.


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