Your Early Morning Freewrite
DT only knew the things he was taught. Tie his shoes, walk left foot right foot, stare not at the sun but straight ahead. Something that would keep him alive to allow him to see another day. These lessons tasted like tap water and fit him, though not all of him, like a mediocre glove.
“Is there more?” DT asked his father the day of his graduation.
“More of what?” DT’s father passed him a flask of his favorite whiskey Black Crow.
“More complexities of life.”
DT’s father winced and looked over his shoulder. He was on a break from scooping ice cream. That’s what he did, plus run the passport photo section at Rite Aid. Overhead, the afternoon sun beat down on them. A group of pigeons pecked at spent sunflower seeds. DT had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.
“Yeah, son,” DT’s father grimaced as he cleared the flask. “Fuck ton.”
“What if I want to go backward?” asked DT. “I feel like I missed something. Like I learned something that I didn’t want. That I didn’t agree upon like I am poisoned.”
“I got to get back to work. Congratulations.”
He handed DT a fifty and suggested he get drunk instead of thinking about things that are never going to happen.
DT got married. After he pulled into his drive, he found himself wondering who came up with garages. What were they before that? Every single door of them was white in their suburb. Who decided they all needed to be white? He couldn’t change the color. It was in the contract his wife and him signed. He remembered staring at a bluebird bathing itself in a puddle in the yard.
“I love it,” DT said after putting the pen down, and the realtor shook his hand. Though at that moment, he saw the word love, he saw the four letters, yet he had no idea what it meant or the actual feeling.
Even in adultery, an attempt at re-awakening did not work.
As DT brought his hips forward and back, his average penis entering a woman he met at a bar, he thought of language. DT, somehow (rarely did he know why such things happened) made her laugh. This medicine appeared to bring this woman joy. Naturally, DT followed up with some basic commonalities like swimming, reading, and that both of their parents served in a war none of them ever would. After that, he followed the natural order of things that ultimately lead to nothing but more nothing.
“How are you this evening?” the Uber driver asked him as DT got inside.
“I think I am OK.”
“I hate that word,” the Uber driver said. “OK. What does it even mean?”
DT flushed. He never knew how to relate to people doing him a service. DT forced his eyes on a star on the sky and didn’t deviate.
“Do you know how you look at letters, and you think of them as a language?” asked the Uber driver.
“Sure,” said DT. He didn’t want to be rude.’
“What are you before that?”
The driver pulled up to DT’s house.
“Think about it,” the driver suggested.
DT could never stop.
Mitchell Duran is a freelance writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and has been published in RiverLit, Penumbra Magazine, The Turks Head Review, MusicinSf.com, and The Bay Bridged. He received the Wilner Award in Short Fiction in 2017 for his story “Into the Night” and The Clark Grossman Prize for his novella progress “The House of 21” in 2018, awarded by Lydia Kiesling, author of the novel “The Golden State”.