Have you ever wondered what would happen if, instead of getting off at your designated subway stop in the morning, the subway stop you’ve been getting off at each morning for the past seventeen years on your way to work at job you’ve been working at for the past seventeen years, you kept riding the subway beyond your stop and to the end of the line, at which point you exited the subway, proceeded to walk to the nearest rental car outlet, rented a car, rolled down the windows, fired back the sunroof, then drove north, south, east, or west, with no particular destination, never to return to your job, your place of living, or previous life ever again?
I’ll admit I have. And it’s this dream of making of a drastic break that serves as the basis for today’s prompt. Here’s how it works: First, read aloud the following excerpt from the late, great Chilean poet, short story writer, and novelist Roberto Bolano’s 898-page novel 2666 (published in English in 2008):
… as they lay naked in the dusk of the bedroom, she confessed that she sometimes dreamed of giving up everything. In other words, making a drastic break, no holds barred. She dreamed, for example, of selling her apartment and two other properties she owned in Santa Teresa, and her car and her jewelry, selling everything until she had collected a decent sum of money, and then she dreamed about flying to Paris, where she would rent a tiny apartment, a studio, say, between Villiers and Porte de Clichy, and she would go to see a famous doctor, a wonder-working plastic surgeon, get a face-lift, get her nose and cheekbones fixed, have her breasts enlarged, in short, when she got off the operating table she would look like someone else, a different woman, not fifty-something anymore but forty-something, or better yet, just over forty, unrecognizable, new, changed, rejuvenated, although of course for awhile she would go everywhere wrapped in bandages, like a mummy, not an Egyptian mummy but a Mexican mummy, which would be something she enjoyed, walking to the metro, for example, knowing that all the Parisians were watching her surreptitiously, some of them even giving up their seats for her, imagining the horrible suffering, burns, traffic accident, that this silent and stoic stranger had undergone, and then getting off the metro and going into a museum or an art gallery or a Montparnasse bookstore, and studying French for two hours a day, with joy, with excitement, French is so pretty, such a musical language, it has a certain je ne sais quoi, and then, one rainy morning, taking off her bandages, slowly, like an archaeologist who has just discovered an incredible bone, like a girl who carefully unwraps, bit by bit, a present that she wants to make last, forever? nearly forever, until finally the last bandage falls, where does it fall? to the floor, to the rug or the wooden floor, in any case a top-quality floor, and on the floor all the bandages slither like snakes, although she knows they aren’t snakes, but rather the guardian angles of snakes, and then someone brings her a mirror and she stares at her self, she nods at herself, she approves of herself, with a gesture in which she rediscovers the sovereignty of childhood, the love of her father and mother, and then she signs something, a paper, a document, a check, and she steps out into the streets of Paris.
Then, begin to write (a poem, short story, or novel perhaps) that includes a no holds barred, drastic break that you or a character has dreamed of making.