This is an artistic collaboration between a writers’ group I belong to and a visual artists’ group.
We were given choices of images with no explanation and had to craft a story about the work.
A head full of cards and Mahjong bets from the night before
Hangs over me
Late nights cascade like a waterfall of regrets into the next morning
I rub my face trying to figure the last time I showered
Resting my hand on his warm head, my worries evaporate
Triggering a memory of waking up early and watching mist burning away on the lake
A handful of hearts is no substitute for this kind of love
As I prepare his food, I know he could give a shit
That I grew up in a cult with strange Sunday preaching picnics
He just wants me to sit down on the thread-bare couch and pet his belly
He is my noble beast
I don’t deserve him, but I’d be lost without him
“Hey buddy, should I plant my weed garden this summer?” I ask him
But somehow that idea becomes less interesting my body drained of enthusiasm
As I pour myself another whiskey and start counting my stash
The warmth flushes through me and I wonder
Can I bet on my hopes and dreams?
He sleeps beside me making snorty noises
Watching his feet twitch, I wonder what he dreams about
I get up and leave my sleeping prince and go to the bedroom
I slip my hand under my pillow and run my fingers reassuringly over the hard-cold metal of the gun
I tuck it in the waistband of my pants
Now I am alert and full of electricity like a third rail
Sitting in my dank kitchen I light another cigarette and tip back in my chair
Instinctively, I sit with my back to the wall so I can see the room in full view
Planning the best escape route if necessary
For now, I am watching the neighbors across the way having sex in the early morning
I know soon I will be back to my routine of more smoky nights and bad bets
If I play my cards right, I get to come home to Lucky, my dog
What is your interpretation of this artwork?
What do you see when you look at the picture?
Whose voice do you hear?
What is the character’s story?