Blogging 101 Lesson Five: Be Brief. A short story regarding finding a letter on a sidewalk.
The back door slammed behind me; I meant to leave my problems within. I clumsily stomped down the steps, out to the sidewalk, turned left, uncaring about where I went. I just wanted out—out of the house, out of the commotion and chaos, out of pain, problems, and pretense. A bit of ecru color caught my eye. Bending over to see if it was important, I saw my name on an envelop that was damp with early morning dew. There was no stamp; a large X was over my name as if someone had decided not to mail it. Probably a swift wind had freed it from a garbage can. “If you are interested, I will be at Willow Creek motel tonight, 8:00.” Signed, An Interested and Interesting Acquaintance. Opportune timing! Ready for something enticing! No wife whining about the garbage disposal not working, no son nagging for new name-brand shoes, no phone to inform me that my car bill was unpaid! Just some peace for an evening, just some excitement for a couple of hours, just someone to care about me—just me.
A memory door opened, I heard my thirteen-year-old self yell, “Dad, I wish you would just one time, think about me, think about what I want!” Thirteen to thirty-three, and it was still ME. Thirteen was not an easy year, for me nor for my son. “Don’t worry, honey,” my wife had said when I was caught in company downsizing. She had learned to pay less and do more as she helped to pay off our second car. Time for me to “pay less and do more.” For starters, I can call a family project this evening. Build a compost pit at the end of the garden. Stack it with wood and roast wieners, before its initial “christening” as a compost pile. At least it would make it a little easier to wait a payday or two before getting a new disposal. After sticking the invitation back in the envelop, I deliberately tore it into four pieces right along the X lines, knowing somehow I had won the biggest battle of my day and it wasn’t against my son, my wife, nor my creditor—it was against ME, all me.