Writing Like This Is Us

“They could shoot you and I know you would keep coming. I know you’d try, but you might not make it. They might get you.”

His words are like a knife in my back, dead center where I can’t reach the blade.

But I keep trying because I don’t know how to do anything else but flail around, desperately trying to pull it out.

“Follow me. Trust me, I’ll catch you. You just have to take a chance”

A thousand years ago I never wondered or worried because I knew he’d be right there, just like my shadow.

But that was then and this is now.

Life is nothing like I thought it would be and when things changed I pivoted, rolled and adjusted. I followed the North Star in the night sky looking for that castle we once lived in.

I found it and discovered empty dusty rooms and a faint smell that confirmed my memory wasn’t flawed or faulty.

Words were spoken and answered but I can’t say if they were echoes of the past or future.

Writing Like This Is Us

The room is dark and I am sitting on my favorite chair, an 18 year-old black recliner that proves the value of paying for quality furniture.

The first episode of the second season of This Is Us has just finished and I am thinking about what I have seen and the foreshadowing of the episodes to come.

I am not sure if I like the cover of One they played or if I would have preferred to hear the original.

In this context it will pull out a parade of memories from the time I first heard it 26 years ago into the present.

That is neither good nor bad, just an observation and a comment upon what the story pulled out of me.

Intermixed in it all is a thought about how certain people complained about my refusal to share my thoughts and how others told me they didn’t want to hear them at all.

But neither of those ideas are as important as working on becoming the writer that can write those tales and make people feel…something.

A Long & Winding Road

You don’t get to that place without writing about the most personal of matters. It’s not as simple as writing about physical pain that scares you unless it is so profound it terrifies you.

No, you have to be willing to find where your heart was broken and tear the scab off so that you can revisit the pain.

And then, you have to be willing to put it out there in the public arena and share it with those who read your words.

That is the kind of long and winding road I am not sure I am willing to share with everyone.

Is it because I am concerned about whether I own the right to share stories in which I am a player and not the star.

Would it make a difference if I told you about a girl who promised things that didn’t come to be?

Would that make it less or would it be enhanced if I wrote of about a woman who promised things that didn’t come to be?

Is it better for readers if I shared these tales and said they didn’t come to be but might or suggested the window of time in which they were possible was irrevocably shut?

Sometimes Heroes Fail & Sometimes They…

He is almost 30 and his girlfriend is not quite 27 or so he has told me.

“A couple of her friends are married and she is starting t0 push me to have a discussion about when we are going to get engaged.”

I nod my head and listen to him describe his situation.

“She knows how many kids she wants and has a plan for when she wants to get pregnant. It is like there is this road map she is following. I overheard her mom tell her that I would make a good father. I don’t know whether to be proud or wear 9 condoms.”

I don’t know when I got to be old enough to be viewed as the wise old man but the 18 year difference between us is enough for me to know a few things he doesn’t.

Or at least it is enough to give off that appearance.

“I don’t want to wake up in my forties and discover I didn’t marry the love of my life. But I don’t want to wake up and find out I settled either.”

He pauses long enough to ask me to say something.

I ask him if he knows the song Love Stinks and he says yeah. I mention a few other songs and tell him the good news is you are never too old to have your heart ripped out.

“Got a dear friend of mine that found out at 50 that you can experience that same gut punch you got in high school or college.”

He shakes his head and tells me that is not helpful.

“The reason there are so many love stories, poems and songs about love is that it never changes. You will always find a reason or reasons to marry, divorce or just hang in limbo.

Women will make you crazy because they are illogical, irrational and nuts.”

He shakes his head and tells me they say the same thing about us.

“Exactly. We are just as crazy as they are, it is just a different sort of crazy that is easier for us to understand.”

He tells me he thinks he understands and we move on to other subjects, but this one comes back…frequently.


I am wearing a different hat but this time the importance of being the wise old man is far more important to me.

“You are relentless and impossible. I don’t understand why you keep trying to force me to be you. I am not.”

“That is not what I am trying to do. It is not even close.”

We go back and forth and eventually I leave wondering what the hell happened and when. What did I miss. What should I have done and how I could have done better.

My gut says I did the best I could and there is no reason for second guessing but still feel like I ought to make like a medieval priest and engage in some self flagellation.

“Maybe I’ll make a cat o’ nine tails and see if using it on myself serves as good penance or provides some insight.”

The reflection says it is faster to bang my head against the wall and just effective.

“You know sometimes heroes fail.”

I glare at the reflection and remind him that sometimes they succeed.

And from the depths of memory I hear a female voice tell me to let go and move on.

I swear the reflection is laughing at me and think about throwing a brick at the mirror but there are no bricks.

“The best heroes are ordinary men who figure out how to overcome adversity. I’d rather be the fool that keeps trying than the loser who fails to try.”

As I walk out of the room I nod my head but one last echo comes back to the surface.

“They might get you. Doesn’t matter what you try to do, you might not save me.”

I mutter something about fooling people. They expect grim, dark and intense but I won’t give it to them.

And as I walk through the crowd they hear me softly sing…

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like
%d bloggers like this: