Monday Writing Prompt: The Midlife Crisis

WRITING PROMPT: The Midlife Crisis
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He’s having a midlife crisis. Only instead of a sports car, he buys …


 

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5 thoughts on “Monday Writing Prompt: The Midlife Crisis

  1. Marybeth Mank

    "A Ticket to Alaska and a Hot Dog Cart"

    “Hey, Joe! Have you got a reindeer sausage left? If so, lemme have one with spicy mustard and kraut on it! Can I get a grilled pretzel bun with that, too, please?”

    “Sure thing, Eddie! How’s the family doing?”

    “Oh, they’re doing fine. They would be here with me today, but little Jenny has the sniffles and Marg decided it wouldn’t be a good idea. She is sure that the other two will get sick, too. You know how it is – bugs get passed around….hahaha!”

    “Here’s your dog! Thanks for the business. You are my last customer of the season. I’m getting ready to fly south for a few months. I hope Jenny feels better real soon….”

    Flashback to three years earlier…

    Today was the final straw for Joe Murphy. It started out badly when he overslept and was late to an important meeting to discuss a new buyout of an ailing company. It got worse during the meeting because the client wouldn’t budge on a couple of contract options. After lunch, his soon-to-be-ex-wife called after lunch screaming about some minor catastrophe that she blamed on him. “Yeah, sure! All that is my fault? Guess again! This is why we can’t stay together, Cathy. You are driving me crazy!!! It was a short put, anyway. Pull yourself together and get over it. Don’t call me at work again.” Click.

    To top it off, today marked 45 years that Joe had been walking this planet; no one, not even his ex, remembered or mentioned it.

    To console himself, he stopped at his favorite watering hole, a dive called the Blue Goose. He propped himself up at the bar and ordered a tequila shot and a Negra Modelo. The bartender placed a steaming basket of chips and hot sauce in front of Joe as a welcome gesture. Joe slugged the shot down, and then took a sip of beer. Joe ordered the evening enchilada special along with another shot. The bartender just shook his head, and asked, “What’s up, Joe? You usually don’t drink tequila.”

    “It’s my birthday, and I have had a lousy day. You really don’t want to hear about it, trust me! I think I’m going to cash everything in, move to Alaska and buy a hot dog cart.”

    “I’m sorry to hear about your lousy day. Happy birthday; this one’s on the house. Alaska, huh? You could sell reindeer sausage along with those hot dogs. You’d probably make a killing during the Iditarod. Hahahahaha! What a crazy idea! Good luck with that one!”

    He’s having a midlife crisis. Only instead of a sports car, he buys … a ticket to Alaska and a hot dog cart.

    Flashback to present day…

    “Yeah, thanks to you, Joe! I hope you enjoy your trip, you crazy SOB. I wish I had thought of this myself. I can work 12-hours days for two or three months straight just to get the next nine to ten months free. So, whatta you gonna do with all that free time?”

    “I think I’m going to go to culinary school, maybe in Paris, maybe in Italy. All that time I was stuck in the office dealing with all that shit, I kept thinking about how all I wanted to do was cook, and maybe open a little restaurant someday. Well, some day is here, and I have some cash saved up. Next year, I’ll have some great new sausages to showcase.”

  2. L.C. Griffith

    "Where’d My Mojo go?"

    I’ve been asking myself lately, where’d my mojo go? I miss that youthful zest that came naturally and flowed like a foamy head of beer over the top of the glass.

    I used to speak with persuasive fluidity, and feel the interesting pieces of conversation come together as I told my story. Now I stammer and search for the right words sounding more like a banker hooked up to a polygraph.

    Although not stunning, I was always considered attractive and able to turn heads when I walked into a room. Now I feel as though I’m invisible.

    When I smile my cheeks push up and crinkly lines surround my eyes like sun beams. So, I seldom smile, and although I look mad most of the time, I look ten years younger.

    My hair is turning white and wiry, like one of those little terrier dogs; only I’m not as cute. Every couple of months I visit my trendy, and expensive, salon, only to be ignored by a spiked out 24 yr old girl with perky boobs and a Bluetooth stuck in her ear, giggling and chatting away to her invisible friend while tugging and pulling at my hair like she’s in a corn shucking contest. When the entire process is over I hack up $100.00 dollars for the treatment, $20.00 for a tip, and when I get home nobody notices the difference.

    My ample bosoms have headed south and I now resemble those topless pictures in the National Geographic Magazines that I use to snicker at as a kid. Gravity bites.

    Where’d my mojo go… my magic essence, my touch with dancing with the world and the people in it? I need my mojo. My mojo is me with “attitude”.

    Maybe that’s the key. Perhaps my attitude is off. Maybe I’ve been looking at things from the wrong angle. Like looking at the negative space around block letters, and all you can see are the shapes, but when you relax and find the positive spaces, you can read the word. That’s it! I have been looking at the negative spaces instead of focusing on the positive substance! Perhaps if I stopped skulking around like an abused dog and began to dwell on the positive things in life my mojo might return? Where’d my mojo go? Nowhere. It’s just been waiting for me to remember who I am, whether the world agrees or not. My mojo is spiritual, not self-conscious or guilt ridden, and rests confidently in its ability to navigate through the twists and turns of life. Only I have the power to turn my mojo on and off, and in the end I can count on my mojo to always be there to inspire me. What a relief! Has anyone seen my libido?

  3. megan

    “Tom is having a midlife crisis. You won’t believe what he bought.”

    “The red corvette?”

    “I wish – he bought a giraffe.”

    “A toy for your grandkid?”

    “I wish look out back”

    “He bought a giraffe! You have a giraffe in your back yard.”

    “Yup. He said it was to match the long tongued piranha in the spare bedroom. “

    “Oh and when is your mother leaving?”

  4. Mark James

    Today, I write like . . . James Joyce.

    “And you want it haunted?”

    “Yeah.” I met her blue on blue eyes. “The more ghosts, the better.”

    The zombie real estate agent furrowed her brow. It must have hurt to pull the smooth skin into wrinkles, but she looked more alive, less plastic. “I’m not sure we can get that on such short notice, Mr. Hetton.”

    “What can I do to make you sure?”

    She licked her pale lips. No lipstick. It wouldn’t stay on zombie skin. “An extra ten thousand?”

    “That enough to get you some real skin?” Even to my own ears, my voice sounded grating, harsh.

    Her dead eyes tried to glare at me, but without blood flowing through her veins, it was like seeing a two watt bulb going on. “Live skin’s hard to come by.”

    “Fifteen thousand,” I said.

    She took my chip, reserved her credits, and sent me on my way.

    I floated myself out the door. She might be Generation XYX, but I wasn’t planning on letting a dead woman touch me; not even by accident.

    Outside, the sun was going down, streaking commuters in greasy red rays. The Night Ones were coming out. Vampires slinked through the shadows; new zombies went by on stiff legs. I figured the ones who looked young and human had to be werewolfs. Reanimation was the new rage. Human wasn’t cool anymore. I was an antique in a city of modern, fanged monsters.

    My ear buzzed. I touched my temple. “Hetton.”

    The real estate agent whispered in my ear. “I’ve found a house. It has everything you asked for.”

    “Where?”

    “Oldtown,” she said.

    “Download the address.”

    My chair followed invisible lines to Oldtown, where the living don’t stay that way for long. A young vampire was on the rotten steps of a house that looked older than me. “You want it?” he said.

    His voice was a low drawl, like after seeing every crooked corner of life, he’d been bored into a living death.

    “How much?” I said.

    He made a disgusted face. “That’s between the deader and you. All I do is show.”

    “So do it.”

    Inside, the house smelled like it hadn’t been opened in decades. Perfect. I uploaded my consent, kicked out the vamp.

    In the attic, I floated to the window and waited.

    “What took you so long, Hetton?”

    “Living, mostly,” I said. “But I’m done.”

    In a century where life was stretched out to the last dregs, and dead flesh was molded into things that live on blood, I’d had my fill. Midlife crisis?

    Maybe.

    I leaned back as far as the chair let me, lifted my head so she could get at my vein.

    When the vampire leaned over, and her stinking breath surrounded me, I closed my eyes. I didn’t scream when my wife’s fangs sank into me, because yeah she was dead, but Generation XYX had one good thing: death didn’t part anyone.

  5. Lane G.

    He’s having a midlife crisis. Only instead of a sports car, he buys a Barbie. His pocket jingling with dollars saved from household chores, he enters the toy store with pupils dilated, his eyes unable to take in so much joy. The shelves are stacked higher than he, than any eight-year-old, can reach. The educational toys on higher shelves, level with the heads of parents. The junk, plastic dogs whose tails will break off are on the bottom shelves where little hands have access.

    He knows what he wants, he tells his mother. It’s a defining moment for both of them, as the boy has been trying for a little while now to make peace with some thoughts in his head. He thinks he’s ready now.

    He offers his hand to her as if she might get lost in the crowd. He leads her to aisle four, stacked high with beautiful girls in shimmering outfits. He picks the one who is a doctor. His mother smiles and ignores the looks from the cashier when her son places his purchase on the counter.

    That night, at home, mother tells Barbie she has a heart ache. She asks Barbie what she can take. Barbie prescribes a hug from the son. Mother seems to feel much better after that. The doctor is wise.

    At 16, the boy will meet some people who are not as understanding as his mother. They will ridicule him and stick labels on him. Words like “person” and “friend” and “normal” are not among them. The boy will be subjected to bullying and aggression. The boy will make a decision one night on a cold bathroom floor.

    The doctor, long forgotten in a closet down the hall, will be unable to fix him.

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