Turn on the radio and take note of the first thing that is mentioned. Use it as the basis for either the start of a story or an entire story.
“No man is an island, no man stands alone”. I believe that’s how the famous song by Dennis Brown goes. Total rubbish, if you want my opinion. Not the song, the song is great, but it’s wrong.
I was an island. A deserted island in the middle of the Pacific ocean.
Yes, I lived in the city and yes, I was surrounded by people and technically, no, I was nowhere near the Pacific. Still, that’s how I felt, completely detached from everyone else, isolated, as if a giant glass wall was standing between me and the rest of the world. I could see them, hear them and sometimes even talk to them but I could never get too close.
Sometimes, it felt like the wall was slightly damaged in some areas, allowing me to accidentally touch some of the people of the other side, like the lunch lady, some strangers in a crowded street and Mark, who had created holes on the wall that only he could get through. It was as if he was the only one who could suddenly travel from the city of Edinburgh into my little island located somewhere between Scotland and the Pacific. I still wasn’t sure how comfortable I felt about that.
The truth is I kind of liked the island. I knew it well, it felt safe. The island was home. Sure, sometimes I got lonely but I had Mr Catface to keep me company.
Mr Catface is my cat, as you can probably guess. I found him near my apartment one day. It was more of a process really. It took a few days for me to realise that he wasn’t just a massive, very oddly shaped rat. It went something like this:
I go out, throw the half full bag of garbage into the bin in the back alley. As I turn around, I start hearing a rumbling noise coming from the bins. I walk away at a fast pace.
I go out, throw the half full bag of garbage into the bin in the back of alley. As it lands, a beastly creature cries from underneath the bag. I run back home.
I go out to throw the completely full bag of garbage into the bin in the back alley. As I reach the bin, the smelly creature jumps on me. I run in circles, drop the bag and trip over my own leftovers. As I struggle to stand back up I find the beastly creature staring back at me, yellow eyes and sticky hairs standing up menacing. I run home again.
Determined to make peace with the huge, deformed, yellow eyed rat in order to throw my completely full bag of garbage again, I come up with a plan. I enter the alley, garbage bag in one hand and a slice of cheddar cheese on the other. I approach the bins slowly. I stand two metres away and place the slice of cheese on the floor, walk a step back and then wait. I see the creature’s yellow eyes shining in the darkness. Slowly, it comes out to the light, until I can see that it’s not a rat, but a cat. Cheese was probably not the best idea. Still determined though, I walk around the beast, sorry, the cat, and approach the bins, throw the garbage bag in and slowly walk back around the cat as he concentrates on the cheese. Oddly enough he seems to like it.
As I opened my door in the morning to leave the apartment, I was met by a pair of huge yellow eyes.
He stayed around for days. Met me at my door every time I went in or out of the apartment. I decided to give him some tuna and cheese again, just in case. He ate all the cheese and only half the tuna. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night to find him staring at me from outside my window. The next day I decided to take him to the vet and finally let him into the house. He kept staring at me with that cat face of his, so I decided to call him Catface. Mr Catface so he’d feel more respectable.
No, the glass wall didn’t apply to pets.