A Creative Loss

“My motivation is gone too soon.”  He mumbled as he brought his cigarette back to his lips. He took a long drag, allowing the smoke to whirl in his mouth for a few seconds before releasing it into the atmosphere.

She was leaned back against the stair railing outside of the bar, staring at him inquisitively. “Okay . . .” she started off, not sure how to respond.

There was silence.

He looked at her, waiting for her to say something. All she could do was stare back. “How did this happen?” she finally asked.

He sighed. “I think . . . I think it’s always been this way. I mean, sure I’ve had a lot of good ideas in the past – but now they’re dead.”

“So, you’re going to do nothing about it?”

He didn’t respond.

“Are you kidding?” She questioned, her voice getting louder. “Who are you? Who in the world are you? This, this is not the Adam I used to know. This is not the Adam I went to high school with. I went to college with. That Adam was bright, always thinking up things to create. That Adam was an artist. But this? Who-who is this? Who are you? Who have you turned into?”

He stared at the ground. He didn’t have the courage to look up, to look her in the eye. He didn’t have the courage to tell her that her leaving was what screwed him over. That her leaving was what deflated his spark. Sure, he enjoyed painting in high school and college. Sure, he aimed to do that for the rest of his life. But he hadn’t realized that without her, without her encouragement, her enthusiasm, his art was nothing. His creativity was dead.

He took another drag, letting the smoke reside inside him for a while more than the last. “I bet it’s those frickin cigarettes.” She said with disgust.

Finally, he looked up at her. “The cigarettes?”

She nodded, fire in her eyes.

The cigarettes?” he repeated. “Oh god. Oh god, no. You could not be more wrong. These cigarettes, Madison, these ‘frickin cigarettes’ are what’s keeping me sane.” Slowly he walked towards her. “All of the times I’ve sat at home, staring at a blank canvas, wanting to end my life, these cigarettes are what’s kept me from doing that. What’s helped me to relax, to leave this world and all of its problems.” His pace slowed as he came closer to her. He stopped a few inches away, dropping his fixed stare from her eyes to his shoes.  “To ignore the fact that without art I am nothing. I am nothing but a carcass, wandering around the streets.”

Her expression softened as his last words left his tongue. She gazed at him, again unsure of what to say next. Her mouth opened, and then shut. Possible remarks sat right inside her lips, along with possible reassuring comments, but none of them felt right.

His eyes met hers, both of them staring in silence. Neither knew what to say next. “You’re not a carcass.” She whispered weakly. He silently nodded, stamped out his cigarette, and walked off of the bars front stairs.

“Where are you going?” she quietly called.

He stood still in his tracks and turned to her. “I don’t know.” He said with a shrug. “Somewhere . . . anywhere I can feel at home without being at home. Without being surrounded by blank canvases screaming my name.”


This passage was inspired by this prompt:


The song I used was Supersoaker by Kings of Leon


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