Day 16: A Sticky Situation

Jamal had a very bad habit, and it involved sticky notes.

There was a time when Jamal would use sticky notes to write down to-do lists or to keep track of his daily spending. That was before. The problem was, his sticky notes would remain at home, and if he was out of the house he had no way of knowing what he had to get done that day. Further, he often forgot about things he bought, and how much he spent, by the time he got home, which skewed his data. That wouldn’t do.

So Jamal started sticking the notes to himself. Depending on when the note needed to be accessed, he would place it in different areas. Over clothes, under clothes–wherever he needed the sticky not to go, he slapped it right there. It became his thing. Sticky Jamal they called him.

Despite the nickname, Jamal had trouble keeping the notes stuck to himself. The standard adhesive used at the tops of the notes would wear down or get rubbed away and he would lose notes. Unthinkable! Especially since he had begun to write down errant thoughts onto the notes, in addition to his lists and plans and budgets. Sometimes simple thoughts, like why isn’t the past tense of bang bung. Sometimes complex thoughts, like if energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed, then why do people think there was ever a beginning to the universe. He would write these thoughts down to ponder further when he had space in his day for pondering. The thought that some of those potential ponderings were gone forever was terrifying to Jamal.

So he began carrying around industrial-strength adhesive to slather onto the back of the sticky notes whenever he needed to stick a note to himself. He never had to worry about losing the notes again, which was important once he started writing down sexual fantasies about his coworkers. Drawings, too, sometimes. Sometimes he turned the drawings on the insides of the notes so that he could feel them against his bare body.

He wasn’t stupid. He knew that those notes wouldn’t come off very easily. For a while he used paint thinner to remove the notes, but after so many scrubs and strong scents he decided to just paste new notes over old ones.

It worked for a time. But he found himself unable to ponder everything he wrote down–he just didn’t have the time–and he needed bare skin to paste sexy notes to. So he started running out of room. He took a day off work to try and “Spring clean” himself, but he couldn’t find any notes he wanted to part with. Sure, he could still apply notes to new clothes, if he bought some, but he wanted more body space for special notes. So he began eating. A lot.

After a heart scare, he wound up in the hospital. The doctor was a professional, but she was appalled the second Jamal took off his shirt. His skin was raw, ruined. All that paint thinner and adhesive had made him look like a fried raisin. The notes had to be removed. There was no other way. And they couldn’t afford to use any more chemicals to remove them.

They needed to be peeled off. One by one.



Today’s prompts were: “The worst thing that could happen,” “Too many sticky notes,” and “A secret bad habit.”

Seems like his habit wasn’t too secret. But the sexy sticky notes part was, I suppose. Man, I don’t know where I come up with these things…

– H.

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