The Writing Prompt is Same But Different. Set the timer for five minutes and write. It won’t be perfect but it might be sharp and clear. I like to use prompt to get out of the way of myself. The only thing I changed was the tense. During the prompt, I wrote it in past tense. It seems better in present tense.
She wants rice. That much I understand. I am going to cook it. She keeps grabbing the pot out of my hand. And the bag of rice. And stepping to the sink. Okay. Okay. She will make the rice. First pours the rice in the pot. Then she runs water into the pot and stirs the rice with hands, washing the little white nuggets. She drains the water. She repeats this process three times. All the while, she looks at me and smiles. Over and over, she says, “Same. Same. But different. Rice. Same. Same. But different.” Yes it is rice. The food she ate on the other side of the world but now she is in Boston making a different pot of rice. No family. No people she knows. No one. Just this blond American with her pot and her rice and the running water and a stove. An hour later. She scoops a heaping pile of rice into two bowls. It is mushier than what I would have made. I don’t know if this batch of rice is a good or similar to what she made in Saigon. All I know is it’s “Same. Same. But different.”