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Words Chapter 1

By Jamie Ramsay

By Jamie RamsayPublished 8 months ago 3 min read


It was something that contradicted itself, over and over and over again. At the time, my arms and legs were smaller versions of myself, and my fingers and toes were even smaller versions of myself; I liked to think of my body as a plan going accordingly. I liked to think of my brain as skipping ropes. These were things I used to describe my mental state. I was stretchy. We took our first unbundled breath, long and bendy. This was before I decided that grass came before the seeds, and trees came before the soil.

I don’t remember what it looked like; if there was even a semblance. It never happened with a sound, or a movement; It wasn’t a change of mind so much as it was devising the way I would think. Light was a word I used often. Easy. Raw. These were the things I decided for myself without even considering how they might change. Or how I might change. Or the way I reckoned everything might begin by standing up. Seeds are never planted; they don’t grow.


Sunday morning, across from me at the kitchen table, my narcotic spiral downwards.

“How do you like your coffee?”

“I don’t drink coffee.”

The apartment is near empty; misplaced, scrapped boxes along the walls. I'm waiting for someone to say something. It's a furtive, lousy feeling- like my hands are dirty. A pair of puce, brown boots, laced up to the knees across from me.

''Where's Alex?'' A breath.

''Upstairs,'' A question. Brown boots crosses her legs and studies his mouth.


If I stare long enough at the way they're watching each other, like possessive animals, the space around them and in between them starts to flicker. The room is flitting.

Alex presses around the corner; he's changed his outfit three times since we got here, ''Ready?''

''Let's go.''


September, four years ago. I had been in California, bought a journal; w r i t e, silver letters against a black, paper book cover. Things were just beginning to change. Ofcourse, I didn’t know that at the time. Fascinating how you can assess yourself, and reassess yourself and your entire being from somewhere else, at a different time. Everything was predictable.

“How do you like your coffee?”

Something in particular had been bothering me that day, I might have written, ‘I am afraid of being misunderstood.’

“I don’t drink coffee.”

Flustered now, retrieving mug half full , “Can I get you anything else?”

“Sticky notes, if you have any.”

I had to write things down when ideas came to me. I scribbled, expensive, and stuck it against the last page. Offer, insist, expensive.

“Cheapest breakfast house in town, and free refills.” An elderly man mumbled. His attention was on my muddle of journal notes.


“The coffee.”

“What about the coffee?” I sound defensive, and I curse myself for inducting conversation with a stranger.

Creased and gentle, he chuckles, “The coffee int’that expensive.”

“I wasn’t writing about the coffee.”

He squints, “what’s that say, insist? Who’s insisting?”

I don’t think I could have responded if I’d wanted to. The waitress came back with my cheque and I was gone before I could even ponder the question.

Who is insisting?

Words are decisions.



Questions without question marks.

Your subconscious lends you words like spare tires, like bridges.

At least my subconscious does. Maybe I’m special. Maybe I’m cursed.

Three hours later I met Alex. he had a purple abrasion under his eye, hiding under a sweet strand of hair in his face. the sky was offering a light mist, he offered me protection under his umbrella, we were walking in the same direction; in-fact, we were walking to the same farmers market,

“Come meet my friends.” He insisted.


fact or fictionart

About the Creator

Jamie Ramsay

Every word is chosen from my throat, in the moments I feel too human.

I am your guide into the sinkhole.

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