This is the result of the final prompt in the final workshop of a series I recently facilitated on the craft of description. The prompt had us first choose a mundane object from the rooms we were writing in, then describe an emotion as if it were that object.

Your ambivalence is perfectly aligned files in teal folders stacked in white, stepped pocket-shelves hung level on a white wall. All the messy papers of your heart tucked neatly behind colourful cardboard, labelled with the consistent black block letters of a Brother tape labeller. Each folder intended to look as alike the others as possible. The contents tapped into proper form on the hard surface of a desk, first on their long side, then on their short side.

There are no stray pages, no outliers in this room, in this office of your love. Through the high contrast of the bright teal folders inside their pristine white pockets, you achieve a certain balance: colour and no colour, light and dark, stimulating and placid. You tend this perfect stasis like a garden where no bloom is more or less than another, every hedgerow identical to the next. Your heart beats in perfect stalemate.

I want to pluck every file folder from its slivered compartment and throw it across the room, watch you scramble after them. Want you to move, one way or the other.

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