Dividend of the Social Opt Out

How lovely it is not to go. To suddenly take ill.

Not seriously ill, just a little under the weather.

To feel slightly peaked, indisposed. Plagued by

a vague ache, or a slight inexplicable chill.


Perhaps such pleasures are denied

to those who never feel obliged. If there are such.


How pleasant to convey your regrets. To feel sincerely

sorry, but secretly pleased to send them on their way

without you. To entrust your good wishes to others.

To spare the equivocal its inevitable rise.


How nice not to hope that something will happen,

but to lie on the couch with a book, hoping that

nothing will. To hear the wood creak and to think.

It is lovely to stay without wanting to leave.


How delicious not to care how you look,

clean and uncombed in the sheets. To sip

brisk mineral water, to take small bites

off crisp Saltines. To leave some on the plate.


To fear no repercussions. Nor dodge

the unkind person you bug.


Even the caretaker has gone to the party.

If you want something you will have to

get it yourself. The blue of the room seduces.

The cars of the occupied sound the wet road.


You indulge in a moment of sadness, make

a frown at the notion you won’t be missed.

This is what it is. You have opted to be

forgotten so that your thoughts might live.


 Jennifer Moxley

from The Open Secret, © 2014


1. When and under what circumstance would you choose to “be forgotten so that your thoughts might live?”

2. When you’re home alone, how do you dress, act, feel? Do you kick off your shoes, wear a favorite old shirt, do without washing your hair? How does your “relaxed at home” state differ from how you prepare to go to work, to the grocery store, to a party?

3. How often do you have a day when you know “nothing will happen?”



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Writing Prompts Copyright © 2015 Featherstone, All rights reserved.

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