Stories on Shuffle: A Weekly Feature

You know how when you close your eyes and really immerse yourself in a song, all kinds of magic happens? Memory, feeling, wildly imagined dreamscapes, runaway thought trains, three-minute sensory journeys?

I love these experiences, transitory as they are. Finding a way to translate them to the external world can be hard sometimes. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in your inner landscape as notes soar up and down through your system. It feels private, luxurious, transcendent. How do we share something so inexplicably profound?

The irony is that everyone knows what I’m talking about. I trust that you have an inkling [or more] of the effect music has on a soul.

As for me, I am certain of two things: 1) I love music. 2) I love writing. I’ve been thinking on ways to combine my love for both into one creative exercise that I can practice and share on a regular basis. Here is what I’ve come up with:

Five songs on shuffle, five one-hundred-word stories [or drabbles, if you will*]. Fiction, memoir, poetry, prose, avant-garde e.e. cummings experimental shit – it might be anything. I’m throwing convention out the window, save for one rule: No cheating by skipping songs. The first five songs inspire the first five stories. Pinky promise.** I will just write what I feel when I listen. Pretty simple.

I plan on posting a full five next week. Just for now, I’ve done one to test-drive. Feedback utterly and entirely welcome.


*Using the phrase “if you will” always makes me feel 20 years older than I actually am.
**Pinky promises are the ultimate. I never go back on a pinky promise, I pinky promise you that.


Sea Lion Woman – Feist

Sporadic sips of jasmine tea fuel her violent keyboard tapping. She sits with a perfectly straight back in the bistro corner. Spoons tinkle against ceramics and a pair of eyes across the way watches her. She’s oblivious to all.

The eyes belong to a man who is curiously absorbing her silhouette. He thinks she feels familiar. He’s racking his brain trying to recall where he might have seen her before.

Her fingers fly over the keyboard.

His thoughts grow fuzzy. He pays his bill and leaves, vaguely unsettled.

She doesn’t miss him. You never miss eyes you never look into.