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Confessions by Ross McCleary | Flash Fiction | #thesideshow

I cannot draw. My hands will not recreate the images in my mind.

On my phone are a list of up to date conversation topics for when I socialise with friends. I am scared of running out of things to say.

I don’t think I would say anything if I discovered a friend was having an affair.

Flying does not scare me. Plane crashes do not scare me. What does scare me, though, is the idea that once the plane has taken off that it will never come down to land.

Don’t ask me why but I will not support a sports team who wears dark blue.

I would describe my political stance as unaligned left.

I am 29 and still waiting to be told I am adopted.

Dream job: Writer-in-Residence on a Cargo Ship.

Shouldering the blame when long lost friends fall apart is important. I prefer to accept the guilt than to abrogate responsibility.

I like to pretend that when I almost bump into someone when I am walking through town that instead of mouthing sorry they are whispering to me their darkest secret.

I once followed a couple around the supermarket picking up the same items they did. When they reached the checkouts I went to the same one. I refused to acknowledge anything was going on when the checkout girl started to notice.

When my partner is watching children’s television I start to think that she is trying to work up the courage to tell me she is pregnant.

I want to be commissioned by the British Lawn Tennis Association to turn the courts of Wimbledon into replicas of Mark Rothko paintings.

I don’t remember the last time I felt sad when a celebrity died, I don’t remember the last time I felt sad when someone I’ve known has died, but I don’t know the last time I didn’t feel sad.

I have a recurring dream in which I stumble upon a hospital in the middle of the woods. The patients are all dead; white sheets pulled across their faces.

I don’t write about sex because I am worried about the assumptions people will make.

I wanted to design a rollercoaster which takes away our fears, a ride on which we would feel safer in the world when we were on it than when we were not on it. Then I realised that this existed in the form of all rollercoasters.

I find it difficult to look people in the eye because I am not always sure there’s someone in there looking back.

I stare at people to observe how they behave because I am keen to know if I was raised properly.

If I was to go through a near death experience I don’t think I would be unalterably changed.

I want you to think I am honest so that I can determine how good a liar I am.

I believe the truth is a lie we tell ourselves to keep ourselves warm at night.

If I could choose to sleep for the rest of my life I would.

My mind has a mind of it’s own.

I can’t tell when I’m pretending anymore.


About the Author:

Ross McCleary is from Edinburgh, UK. His novella, Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death, is being published by Maudlin House in the summer. He is the editor of podcast journal Lies, Dreaming. He was born 9 months after Jorge Luis Borges passed away.

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