Today in writing club, Chase brought a prompt that was ridiculously difficult, but incredibly thought provoking. He simply said, “Write the opposite of you.” This prompt blew my mind. There are so many opposites of me that I dislike or have a difficult job engaging with. How am I supposed to write them down in a story I care about? How can I explain what it feels like to have a penis? (That was the big stumper.) I mean, what does it do? Just hang there uselessly all day long? I imagined myself as a red-head. For those of you who know I have ginger-vitis, this comes as no surprise to you. So in the story, there I am, standing in front of a mirror looking at my heavily bearded, titian-headed, penis-sporting self. I made a good looking man. In fact, this venture into the other sex, and trying to think like a man has made me aware of exactly how little I know about the things that men think about.
But the challenge is more elaborate than worrying about gender, sexual orientation, or sex, we had to think about politics, religion, lifestyle, vocation, and everything else that comes with being human. What exactly is the opposite of all that? What is the opposite of me? In order to figure out the opposite, I have to be able to clearly define myself. This writing prompt was pretty much a mind fuck, but a welcome one. I haven’t thought so hard about writing in a while.