Image by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Hold the Meditation

Lit Up – April’s Writing Prompt: Distraction

John Tinney
Apr 22 · 3 min read

It’s difficult to reach enlightenment with people fighting over inbreeding in the street below. “I didn’t shag my cousin!” Just block out out the screaming match. You are the monk of urban decay.

“Aye, you did, ya big tramp!”

“Who you calling a tramp? You’ve shagged more guys than I’ve had hot dinners.” I try to focus on my smiling buddha and picture of Tony Soprano and let every frustration and thought about telling these people to shut up pass without judgement.

“You want slapped?”

“That’s it! I’m gonnae kick your arse!” Stop letting that fight distract you from spiritual enrichment.

“AHHH!” Don’t look out the window, don’t get involved. Them killing each other has nothing to do with you reaching nirvana. Let someone else stop it.

“Right, come on, girls! Stop this fighting!” See, this person will bring it to an end and restore a bit of order.

“Girl? Who you calling girl? Don’t call me girl, ya patronising dick!”

“Aye, keep out this! This is between me and the cousin-shagger!” My mind is melting here. Enlightenment might as well be in another galaxy. I feel rage and nothing but it. My window opens in tandem with my mouth.

“Shut the fuck up! I’m trying to meditate, you inconsiderate bastards!” The fight stops and everyone looks.

“Oh, fuck you, Dalai Lama!” shouts the guy who was trying to stop the fight. Take a deep breath. Remember how much of a deterrent jail can be. “Away and save Tibet, ya dick!” That’s it! Where’s my baseball bat?

“I embraced Buddhism and meditation seven years ago as an alternative to binge drinking and speed, but it’s hard to find peace surrounded by pubs and noise noise noise. My caseworker says I should move to the countryside; I think she’s just trying to get rid of me. I told her I tried a break in the country, and it was even worse than the city. The sounds of all that nature drove me to drink. What was meant to be a positive distraction from my life became more proof I couldn’t run from the inside of my own head. I definitely feel much more comfortable around nightclubs and maniacs than I do with spooky trees, picturesque scenery and beautiful clear skies for miles. I am still meditating or trying to, but I finish the night shift and do it at six in the morning when most of the rest of the world is still asleep. That works better for me. And just like you said, writing has been a great distraction from all that’s going on. Sometimes I start writing, then I look at a clock and realise I’ve been at it for three hours. I forget who I am, and my mind just empties on a screen. What a godsend it is. Do you write too…you must if you’re recommending it. Do you? Doctor?”

I turn my head and see drool coming from his mouth. Money I can’t really afford is paying for him to nap while I talk to myself. “Don’t get up, ya lazy dick. I’ll see myself out.”

I leave him sleeping and start writing on my phone to use up the anger fuel. No good can come of letting that dictate my actions. I am calm. I am not irate. I’m a pacifist and a law-abiding citizen who gives to charities and is still attempting meditation. Remember, it’s better to attempt meditation than attempt murder.

“What do you mean you didn’t realise he was dead?”

“I thought he was sleeping.”

“Right. And he didn’t look dead to you?”

“I mean, maybe. I don’t know. People can look dead when they’re sleeping.”

“And you didn’t notice anything untoward?”

“No…I don’t know. I was full of…what do you call it?”

“I don’t know. What do you call it?”

“Anger…no, not anger…righteous indignation.”

“Sounds like you’ve got a lot of this righteous indignation.”

“Look, I was distracted by my feelings at the moment. I didn’t think, jeez, there’s my therapist snuffed it during my ranting.”

“So, you were ranting?”

“No, I was talking.”

“Did you kill your psychiatrist, James?” I look at a moth on the wall; how I’d trade places with that insignificant insect right now.

Lit Up

Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales.

Thanks to Dermott Hayes

John Tinney

Written by

The idiot’s idiot, modest genius, Glaswegian.

Lit Up

Lit Up

Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales. Here you can read and submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry - in brief, your own legend. We're starting little. But that's how all big stories begin.

John Tinney

Written by

The idiot’s idiot, modest genius, Glaswegian.

Lit Up

Lit Up

Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales. Here you can read and submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry - in brief, your own legend. We're starting little. But that's how all big stories begin.

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