Prompt Images

August 2, 2018 at 2:00 A.M.

Man, my brain is some shit.

It’s riddled with a pretty stupid cocktail of crippling anxiety, useless sports knowledge, and nonexistent music covers that no one should ever have to listen to. You try getting anything done with Alan Jackson crooning the chorus of “What’s Your Fantasy?” over and over in your head.

What in Cher’s name am I supposed to do with this mush between my ears? Seriously.

I’m writing this because sleep is as elusive as a running back dripping in WD-40, juking any notion of rest, stiff-arming my tired eyelids open. There’s no tackling it—I can only hope it trips itself up eventually. Exhaustion sets in and feels like layers of weighted blankets super-glued to me, not allowing me to do much other than wait. And wait. And wait.

Until finally, the delirium takes me to a world where there’s little reprieve.

Instead, I’m dropped into recurring dreamscapes molded by my insecurities and stressors. Oh, hey, another nightmare where I’m the only server in a full dining room of 200 people and MY GOD I HAVEN’T GONE TO ANY OF THE TABLES I’M SO SCREWED. I often wake up with my head still spinning and bleary, bloodshot eyes belying the “sleep” I’d gotten.

“Time to do things now, I guess,” my brain says wearily and unconvincingly, thoughts firing lazily like pop rocks embedded in my sulci.

My trains of thought are more like… well, I guess they’re not trains at all, actually. That would imply forward movement from a sturdy, well-constructed machine. No, my trains of thought are mostly just the sad, old Metro railcars that you’re super bummed to see pull up to the platform. The ones with violently orange seats and putrid carpeting—yes, carpeting!—doomed by poor choices before they even got on the tracks.

I’m just here holding my breath, trying to bat away the wafts of piss and shame emanating from the ill-conceived carpet, hoping I’m going somewhere in the right direction.

Time will only tell if I end up where I’m supposed to be or if I’ll succumb to the smoke that’ll inevitably fill up this car.

The scariest part is I never know when the smoke is coming.

My brain has indentations from the hammer of self-doubt. It’s got lacerations from my past failures constantly clawing their way back into the forefront of my mind. Did I mention the countless cone hats strewn around my head from all the pity parties my brain has thrown for itself?

But I’m trying. Fuck, I’m trying.

Trying to temper long bouts of inadequacy with inexplicable spurts of ego and whimsy. Trying to strive for coherence. Trying to aim for a shiny object in the distance while feeling shackled by the present. Because otherwise, what’s the point?

So here’s to moving, I guess. Hopefully, my capa won’t be de-tated from my head wherever I end up.

Ángel Bolivar Torres

Ángel loves boom-bap hip-hop, high-level high-low post play. In a constant state of craving a burger and beer. Accent on the A is never expected but always appreciated.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more