Open Thread Highlights, Vol. 5: Essays We Don’t Have Time to Write

Every few weeks, we post an open thread with a brief writing prompt. Here are some essays we don’t have time to write — on love, lust, home improvement and more — from this week’s open thread.


These are letters written to my best friend who I am madly in love with. One day I might let him read them, or maybe I will share them with everyone but him; First, I have to write them. — Shannon Masayo

I’m interested in what happens when uncertainty is declared extinct by so many masters of ones and zeros. What happens when most people believe algorithms are absolute truth? Are we still human if everything is agreed to be known or calculable? — Todd Hannula

An essay about this made-for-TV movie that was on the disney channel I think in the 80s. We recorded and used to play it on roadtrips. It’s about a kid who made a dirt bike with like rocket boosters. — Josh Spilker


A Line of Witty Paints

Hospital white — a blinding sterile white for all your modern spaces

Smoker’s White — a dirty bistro white, tinged with yellow and history, for the arty workspace in your life

Pretty Fucking White— the go-to white for all other applications, a basic cotton ball/cloud/lace white

Lisa Renee


I want to write an essay about how the light was off in an entire neighborhood last night because of a storm and I had to spend the night at my friends’ and about how probably around 2 a.m. as the last candle was burning its last bit there was amazing bright thunderlight and all we could do was clap at the timing and laugh at each other in the blinking darkness and about how it was the most perfect three seconds I’ve seen. — Thays Prado

Our decision to not have children is ours to make and there is nothing immoral about it. — Michael H Rand

I used to love the movie Swordfish. But why? I’m solid about movies but shaky about my life. I’ve always wanted to combine those two states of mind into one thing — a valid film critique that’s also a searching personal essay; dinner and dessert. — Roche


Things I Cannot Say to my Psychiatrist

  1. I think your primary diagnosis for my condition is incorrect.
  2. Just because I had a binge drinking problem six years ago does not mean I’m an alcoholic.
  3. Your raging ego is only marginally easier to deal with than my previous doctor’s raging incompetence.

Monica Deck


The architecture of bread is something that intrigues me to no end — a continuous, organic wall and pockets of air — a stable home that emanates warmth, buttery wafts and spoils us, a crumb-dropping generation. — ・ᴗ・

I want to write about the loneliness you feel even when you’re surrounded by a crowd of people. I’d take in the reader with a personal narrative on how it starts — realizing how different you are from the people. I’d finish with a question, are we ever not alone in this world? — Albert Serna Jr

I’ve decided to write a series of stories called ‘Reality Plus’: a collection of stories about strangers I’ve met in a coffee shop based on what I’ve noticed about them during my observations. — Katarzyna Adamska


Harry Potter and Pakistan’s War on Terror

So much innocent blood has been spilled (65,000 civilians so far) just like in the days of Voldemort. Usually those dying have nothing to do with the whole dynamic of why the war is being fought in the first place (lower to middle class Pakistanis; Muggles, with no relation to the wizarding world).

We’re all waiting for a Harry Potter to come and win this war for us.

Hamza Malik

Love vs. Lust

I’ve been trying to write a piece about the differences between love and lust — and how to tell one from the other… There would be no intro or conclusion, just a list of analogies:

Love is that pair of shoes you won’t throw away.

Lust is breakfast for dinner.

Love is a comic strip.

Lust is a tweet.

Ryan Hussey


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