Submitted into Contest #230 in response to: Write a story in the form of a list.... view prompt


Contemporary Fiction Funny

New year’s resolutions

December 31

Find a new home (living in the back of my car doesn’t cut it)

Stop taking drugs (I can’t afford them anymore)

Find a new dealer (oops, I think I just contradicted myself)

Maybe change my drug of choice (Fentanyl is just too damned expensive and dangerous)

Make up with Zelda (but she won’t take me back unless I stop using)

See more of my kids (but first Zelda has to reverse the court order)

Get out of New York city (but I’ll need new dealers and never see my kids)

Stop contradicting myself (I’ll be clearer when I stop using)

Stop using (I already said that)

Pay my parking tickets (I can’t afford to pay them)

Stop using (then I can afford to pay them)

Get my job back (the board said I’d be reinstated if I’m clean)

Go to rehab (They said I should go to rehab but I said no-no-no)

Give tribute to Amy Winehouse (but I don’t want to land up like her)

Stop hanging around with losers (I’m probably the biggest one)

Reconnect with my parents (They gave up on me two years ago)

Stop using (maybe they’ll reconsider)

Apologize to Oli (I was out of my mind when I broke into her house)

Get her jewelry out of the pawn shop (but first, I need to have the money)

Start exercising again (but I sold my bike and someone stole my running shoes)

Eat healthy (I have no appetite and can’t afford organic)

Fix my teeth (they’re rotting and falling out but I can’t afford a dentist)

Take more showers (I stink)

Feed Spanky my dog better (he eats scraps from garbage cans)

Read more books (my kindle died a year ago)

Volunteer at the shelter (they kicked me out when I was doing meth)

Reestablish with my therapist (need money and doubt he’ll take me back)

Become more spiritual (I really connected with the cosmos last time I did ‘shrooms)

Stop dreaming about the next drug, next high (I can’t help it)

Be a better person in 2024 (this is not a good start)

February 7

New year’s observations

Getting clean is hard (I had to check into the ER twice with seizures)

The guy who rolled me and stole my car is an asshole (he could have left me poor Spanky)

Maybe he did me a favor (I had to beg the shelter to let me back)

The social workers here are not so bad after all (they hooked me up with rehab, a doctor and a therapist)

The beds in the shelter are more comfortable than my car seat (duh!)

My head is clearer when I’m clean (but I have to face reality for the first time in years)

I’m a loser (I had everything, and I threw it away)

My parents did the best they could with what they had (but I still think dad’s addictive personality was genetic)

What alcohol was for Dad, drugs are for me (I think my addiction was inevitable)

Oli was right (my big sister warned me about experimenting with drugs when I was a teenager).

We both probably have the addiction gene (Oli does not drink, smoke or do drugs)

Amy Winehouse was an idiot (rehab has been awesome)

 I have a different personality when I’m using (I found a ticket to a Trump rally in my coat pocket)

Now that I read newspapers again, I think the world is on drugs (at least some of the politicians are)

The despair and depression I see in my fellow lodgers in the shelter has driven many of them to drugs (what was my excuse?)

I appreciate my privileged upbringing and past life (I wish I had done so earlier)

I regret introducing Stella to drugs (it ruined our marriage)

She is stronger and smarter than me (she was able to kick the habit and hold onto her job)

It was smart for her to keep the kids from me (but they may have the addiction gene too)

They are total strangers to me (but I’m happy that I am now allowed 2 hours a week with them)

Jimmy, now 15, looks and acts like me (I hope he’ll follow my advice better than I did Oli’s)

Both Jimmy and Sally are excelling in sciences (that’s one good thing they may have inherited from me and their grandad)

I still have an interest in medicine and science (I have another hearing with the medical board in six months)

There may be too much temptation working in a hospital or medical office (it was as if I was in a candy store)

Access in the office did not get me started (it was that damned back surgery)

If I have another surgery, I have to avoid narcotics (I will have to have a hip replacement soon)

I’m stronger than I thought (after two nights of drinking with my new buddies, I realize I need to abstain from alcohol)

My dad could hide his alcohol problem better than I could my drug addiction (he was a practicing surgeon until he retired)

No medical offices will hire ex-drug addicts (they won’t let me even volunteer as a scribe!)

I need to reinvent myself (maybe I can work for a drug company)

Scratch that, it would be ironic and stupid (although I would be a good researcher)

Medical research may be my only option (I’m qualified but who would hire me?)

I need to put my education and qualifications to use (teaching is an option)

Employers may consider past drug addiction a worse red flag than a felony conviction (especially in the medical profession)

I need a job (I might have to lower my standards)

If I can stay clean for a six more months, the board may offer me a lifeline (a certificate from rehab would help)

I feel like I have been given a new chance at life (I’d better not blow it)

I know I need to earn Stella’s, Oli’s and my parents’ trust again (I lost it years ago)

My two days of drinking showed me it would be easy to slide backwards (I can’t afford to)

I need to live my life one day at a time (and stay strong).

2024 will be the year of my rebirth.

December 23, 2023 23:14

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Michał Przywara
21:44 Jan 04, 2024

No doubt, addiction is a huge issue to grapple with. What I like about these lists, particularly the first one, is that it's loaded with contradictions, like “do this… but I can't because…” It shows us the narrator knows there's a problem, and that he must do something about it, but that the scale of the problem is overwhelming and just finding a place to start is a huge problem itself. Still, there's development in the character and we end on a hopeful note, with the second half. Critique-wise, I like the contradiction pattern of each l...


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Michelle Oliver
11:52 Jan 02, 2024

We both looked at addiction for this week’s prompts. An interesting list with the addict justifying his every move. I like the two lists. The ending is hopeful. One day at a time.


Rudy Greene
20:26 Jan 02, 2024

Thanks for the comments. I look forward to reading your story.


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Alexis Araneta
13:41 Jan 01, 2024

This was wonderful ! The justifications for not doing the resolutions were a great touch.


Rudy Greene
21:49 Jan 01, 2024

Thanks for the kind words. Happy new year. R


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Mary Bendickson
20:46 Dec 24, 2023

Happy new year.


Rudy Greene
21:48 Jan 01, 2024

Same to you. Thanks for your support. Happy writing! R


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