Tag Archives: The Rubbish Bin of the Soul

Writing Prompt: Portrait of a Man with Striped Socks

Writing Prompt: Portrait of a Man with Striped Socks

Ladies, do you dig my striped socks?

Here is a vintage postcard I got from the Write Now! activity last month. I am not comfortable with flash fiction but it’s good to practice.  


Peter considered this photograph to be the height of his undergraduate folly. Hair carefully combed and pomaded, his chest encased in a lettered varsity sweater that he borrowed from a sporting friend, trousers and socks neat but worn.

He had put his hands on his hips to affect a posture of dominance and mastery. Yet looking back, he knew it to be all a sham. Only an insecure young man who secretly agonized whether his ears stuck out would pose like that in the middle of a deserted field. After all, the game was over.

A more confident youth, he thought, would have been relaxed in front of the camera; not stiff, like a poker had been crammed down this throat. Moreover, a confident youth would have his teammates surrounding him. A man like that would not care about casual comparisons to his mates. In this photograph, it seemed, he hadn’t even played in the finals at all.

No wonder Margaret broke off their engagement soon after she took this keepsake. Her camera saw everything that he hid from himself.