I follow some writing advice accounts on twitter. I see a lot of quotes that basically say "Only write stuff that scares you" or makes you uncomfortable or that sort of thing. I don't really buy it. I prefer to write stuff that makes me laugh and hopefully makes you laugh too. And maybe even better, makes you think. Not too interested in making anyone uncomfortable. But here's a piece I wrote a few years back that kind of skirts that line for me. Came to me on a treadmill while listening to Unforgiven II. You remember my love for James Hetfield. So this one touches on sex, death and even religion, kind of, without really being about any of those things. Except sex, I guess. Well, enjoy, I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable.
She traced the outlines of his tattoos with her fingers. They always asked about the tattoos.
"What does this one say?" She pointed to the script on his chest.
"Black heart scarring darker still."
"You say Jesus, I say fuck. It's like a blessing. The muslims do it, whenever someone mentions their prophet they always say 'Peace be upon him.' It's like that."
"Huh. Sounds more like a curse to me."
She giggled. He didn't. After a while she went on with her line of thought.
"So this tattoo around your heart . . . you have a black heart?"
"It's from a song. This guy sleeps with a girl and then kills her and leaves."
He felt her tense.
"It's just a song. A tattoo. I'm not gonna hurt you. Jesus."
She went on to explore his other tattoos.
- Nathan Waddell