Categories
Short Stories

A Doorway

Slam of the back door and the noise of loud, unbalanced footsteps making their way into the hallway. The rush of setting aside the toys and preparing for the door to my bedroom to open. In a moment the door handle turns a little tentatively and then turns all the way in one gentle swoosh. Father makes his way in still wearing his collared shirt from work with his tie slightly loose. The sensation of him reaching down and picking me up off the ground with his calloused hands around my wrist. Now that he is closer, I can see his unshaven stubble on his face and the wrinkles of his dress shirt. He pulls at me for moment in almost an invitation to come with him until mother makes her way into my bedroom. My father lets go of my arm and turns to my mother expectantly. She yells and points to the door, and they go and close the door behind them. The yelling continues with my dad first and my mother continuing, their awkward footsteps can be heard bouncing around in the hallway. Louder and louder they get and get until all of the sudden deafening silence. From the silence comes crying, unbalanced footsteps making their way out of the hallway and the slam of the backdoor.

Those footsteps never came back as every single day I awaited expectantly to hear them upon the opening of the backdoor. Days turned to months, months turned to years and yet I so expectantly wait. After awhile the sound of footsteps entering from the backdoor turned to distant echoes and the sight of my father turned to blurry photographs of what used to be. These sounds however never turned to silence and these memories however never faded into obscurity. Sometimes I close my eyes and I see him. As I look at him, I realize some wounds never fully heal.

Categories
Short Stories

Bottomless

Even though I captain this ship, I feel powerless against the infinite sea around us. And the sea makes sure to remind me of this too. Just last week I saw my second mate get swallowed whole by the mouth of the sea. I just remember yelling at him before he went out to try to save the bosun.

“All in naught, the sea has him now!” is what I said. True as this was, the siren call was already luring my second mate out. He just opened the main hatch and faced the storm. I remember his blank face as he received the news and the seemingly destruction of his soul. The trance-like steps he took past the rest of the crew huddled together and out he went.

This bright young man was no fool. So it confounds me on why he left so quickly after his friend. He has been on plenty of shipping routes to know how cruel the sea can be. How many shipping routes I’ve been on to know not to go after him. Instinct took over as I saw his shadow slip out of the door.

I remember running topside as he made his way to the bow of the ship. For a brief second I lost sight of his figure as he went deeper into the endless rain. Soon, I saw his outline looking over the sea and heard his distinct yelling that seemed to be barely strong enough to win the fight over the roar of the sea. I didn’t think and I just ran to him. One step at a time until I felt nearly weightless as I traveled towards him.

When I reached the second mate, I heard what he was screaming more vividly and more distinctly:

“JOHN, JOHN, JOHN…” He screamed endlessly at the sea in hopes to get his friend back. It took a second for him to see I was there for him. His grim look and despairing eyes fell upon me. I almost think that he knew his end was drawing near.

“I loved him.” He said. I gripped him hard to pull him in further on to the ship. A crack of lightning lit the darkened sea to reveal the hand of destruction coming for us. I pulled him but the second mate was frozen in place. I yelled at him, I screamed with all my might but he didn’t move. I heard the rush of water getting nearer and nearer.

“I loved him.” The second mate said again. It was then I knew that he made his mind up and no amount of tugging will make him move. So I ran, ran fast and hard further on to the deck. The sound of rushing water grew louder and louder, screaming for blood.

A shock wave like no other I felt made its way across the boat and was followed by a sound akin to a bomb going off inches from you. The water fell upon us first as rain, then as hail, then as an avalanche. No matter where I was to run, the sea would’ve engulfed me. At first naively I tried to fight the sea with all my might but sensing the inevitability of the sea, I just let it take me. The sea dragged me across the deck of the ship hitting me against every surface it could find. First it swung me against all of the containers on the deck then swept me over to hit the rigging of the ship. I’ve never felt a power so boundless upon me like this before. The swings kept getting harder and harder as my corpse gained more and more momentum. A sudden crack popped and before I had a chance to wonder what the sound was everything went black.

Next thing I know I was grabbed against the railing of the ship mere inches from the cold cliff that divides us and death itself. I was dragged and dragged through the water until the water just stopped. I began going through what I can only describe as the inverse of drowning, the water that made its way into my body was forced up and out like a spirit exiting my body. This kept going until I felt empty and hollow inside.

Through all of those traumatic events, I’m not haunted by the sea in my memories. I’m haunted by those bottomless eyes, deeper than any ocean or sea can be.

Categories
Short Stories

Bygone

After the dust had settled, people began to rebuild. Rebuild what came before and what was to come after. The past wasn’t left to decay and stagnate where it was but instead was brought forward to future generations in words of warning of what not to become.

After the loss of human interference above ground and the near hibernation of humans under ground. Nature too began rebuild, rebuild in ways that centuries of human’s haven’t seen before. There was growing of trees and budding of roses where once laid dust and sand. In the concrete came first the weeds, then the weeds gave way to grass and fields of dandelions.

After the factories stopped, the sea waters calmed and cleared. Animals who which many thought were extinct that laid dormant at the bottom of the ocean’s were able to return their normal stations. The fish returning to the rivers and lakes were able to be eaten again by the omnivores that were starving in the years following the end. For the animals at least, life seemed to normalize as people were buried beneath Earth’s rotten crust.

When people returned to the surface and rebuilding went well (as it eventually does). People had a newly gained respect for the sensitive balance that must be maintained on Earth in order to survive. People worked together to create preventive methods of their waters getting polluted. People worked on harnessing alternative energies than the one’s polluting their air. People worked together on finding ways to have more reusable materials in their everyday life.

In one of the more motivational speeches after the apocalypse by one of the more notable politicians to survive through the end of the world, they said the following:

“We cannot make the same mistakes over and over again. We must stand as one and think of problem’s before they occur instead of waiting for the problems to be on the future generation’s shoulders. The second time will be the last time.”

And the world seemed to listen.

Categories
Short Stories

Chicken Soup for the Galactic Soul – Intro

If we are going to start from anywhere, might as well start from the beginning (well the very beginning in our case to make this story make sense). While we were correct in many things about the beginning of the universe (nothing, explosion, something) , there were many things that we were just a tad off about. We supposed that from this chaos we came to be but in all reality the chaos wasn’t that chaotic at all. I don’t think we should call it chaos really, I suppose we could call it a very deterministic game of craps. The world we live in was already predetermined even before the big bang (along with the all of the other worlds that exist) because we gave the universe an infinite amount of time and space to play its game of craps which from every known statistics textbook that eventually some event would happen even if there was a very, very low percent chance of it happening (given the odds of it happening aren’t equal to 0 which they never really are). But from those very predetermined rolls of the dice gave us our own paradise (or hell which ever you choose at the time). But that is less important from the second thing we got wrong.

Remember how I said that chaos wasn’t very chaotic, well I should expand on that. Actually the number of times that sentient intelligence started from where we are now in time space to the beginning of the big bang is around an infinite amount of times (give or take 2 for error). Unfortunately, the recorded data from these dimensions are all but slim. Fortunately, we suppose or our favorite theory around the office is that somewhere deep, deep in the depths of space was that an intergalactic mail man either through misfortune, careless or perhaps he was a little tipsy mailed a full hull to the wrong galactic address. We suppose this from the sloppy handwriting (or what we assume to be handwriting because we don’t really know if they have hands or not) on the hull of cards and letters. Now you are probably going to say:

“Hey, narrator man. Isn’t the probability of something like that happening basically 0? And how would you even go about decoding messages like that from a different universe, not like they are in in discernible characters right?”

Firstly, I would say while the probability of this happening in the first place is not quite 0 which in the history of spacetime is proven to be actually quite possible. Secondly, don’t call me narrator man, give me some respect I have a doctorate in astronomy I’ll let you know. Thirdly, no why would some creature from some different galaxy write in a modern day language that is just stupid. However, the language written in was not too far off from a modern day language. Luckily the writers of these letters weren’t the most stellar of writers and managed to use words in the same frequency as someone whose read at least 3 books in their life would. So through the magic of some machine learning algorithms and neural networks (lots of code or lots of programming to the uninformed) we managed to decode/parse some text into readable material while other texts were not treated so kindly and look like what would happen if you threw Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into the garbage disposal. While we are mostly skeptical about those findings, a few of us suppose or guess it could be possible that all of those letters were from children to there equivalent of Santa Claus (but that is very, very unofficial as of the moment).

But from these discoveries we decided to compile some of the more readable and parse-able texts into a collection so the public would enjoy. So hopefully you do and I’ll see you at the end for the recap and conclusion!

Categories
Short Stories

Inktober Day #2: Mindless

From a young age Adam was taught that he had to stand up to his fears and to others so that he grow up to be a strong man like his father. No matter what happened to Adam, he never got any empathy from his parents. Some days he came home bruised and battered from the bullies at school, other days he came home crying to have his father do the bruising and battering for them.

“Get stronger, stop crying” his father said. Maybe the years of serving in the military deafened the father’s hearing to the pain and suffering from his son. A few times his mother stepped in to try to protect her poor boy from this angry tyrant but it was of no use, he had muscles built up from years of service and heavy lifting.

“Even if they had the courage to escape, what would they do?” the mother always thought. She always came to the same conclusion that in all reality that her and her son have nothing outside of this house. They were in all aspects broke except the dividends that came in the mail from the military once a month. If they were to leave, they would be inflicting months maybe years of homelessness in the streets. In this path of logic, Adam’s mother decided it would be best to keep quiet and take the beatings when she can to protect herself and her son.

From this Adam wasn’t getting attention from anyone and when he was getting attention it was only through a negative perspective. Even at school it was too far into these cruel punishments that every time a teacher found new scars and bruises they always assumed them to be from the bullies. Adam knew it was better have them believe that than to tell them otherwise in fear of what his retaliation at home would be.

All of this continued until one day something inside of Adam just snapped. He didn’t care anymore. Every punch thrown, he just took it. Tears first stopped falling from his eyes. Then tears stop swelling in his eyes all together. For once in Adam’s entire life this led to positive results. His dad stopped beating him because he finally  in his eyes became a man. His bullies stopped picking on him because he was no longer a victim and was just cold to the senseless beatings. Once the bullies caught wind of this, they gained almost a respect for Adam and treated him as one of their own.

From here Adam went from bullied to bully. The bullies moved on to a new victim and this time Adam found himself in a position of power. The victim was a new student who just moved from a different state. He was always talking about how his old school was so much better than it was here.

“We’ll show him” thought Adam and the bullies. They were up to their usual tricks, wait for the end of school and find him on the walk home from the school yard. As they just got out of sight, they sprung on their prey. The first bully goes in and throws a punch to the new kid’s gut. The second punches him right in the throat. The third goes straight for the face. Adam went in with a fury of punches and as soon as the new kid hit the ground, he continued with a round of kicks straight to his gut. Adam kept at the new kid until one of the other attackers pulled him back. Adam went too far, now the new kid laid there in front of them just an inch from death as blood slowly pours from his body. If they left to go get help now, there was hope for the new kid but in this fateful day, luck would have none of it.

“RUN!” One of the bullies squeals as he realizes that they were done with this kid’s beating. They all took off to their normal hideout in the back of the woods. All ran as quickly as possible as the new kid took his last few gulps of air before his windpipe collapsed.

Run, run and run they did until they made it to a small cave in the hill side.

“Adam, you nearly killed him?! What were you thinking?” One of the bullies asked him as he was trying to catch his breath and light a cigarette.

“Yeah what the hell man.” Said another of the bullies as he took the light from the first bully.

“We never beat you that bad.” Said the third bully, as he lit his cigarette, took a deep breath, exhaled and continued “We only do it as far to teach a lesson.” 

“He deserved it. That brat coming from who the hell knows where. I wish I got the chance to cave in his skull.” Adam said taking the cigarettes and lighter.

They continued smoking and talking as the sun faded away behind the hill side and the only thing they could see is their faces from the light given off of their cigarettes and the silhouettes of the trees.

“I think we should head home, guys. It is getting way too dark out.” One of the bullies said.

“I mean you can go if you want, unless you are too scared of the dark to go alone.” Another one of the bullies said.

“I’m not- scared of the dark.” The first bully responded.

“Then go by yourself, I have to wait until my parents are asleep to go home.” The second bully scolded back.

In this response the first bully took stride to leave because he knew he couldn’t should fear to the group otherwise the group would target him again for his weakness. Step after step he took into the dark forest around him. His silhouette faded into the dark trees and surroundings and he was never seen again.

For awhile the three remaining stayed as they talked and smoked. One more of the bullies decided he had to go to the bathroom and left to go find a tree. He stepped further and further into the trees until the two left were out of earshot. Then unzipped his pants and  went about his business.  Soon he heard bushes move behind him.

“Stop messing with me g-” He barely mustered out. Then, a snap was heard and the birds resting near by flew into the night sky.

“Did you hear that I think he fell on his way out to go take a piss!” The bully said barely containing his laughter.

“What a moron, he probably wasn’t looking where he was going.” Adam added in and they started laughing. Just loud enough to not hear something step out of the bushes behind them. Step, after step the creature continues into the cave. Getting closer and closer; until the laughing stops and the creature was close enough for anyone to hear just by his breathing.

The two bullies turned around.

“How did you- find your way out here?” The other bully asked to the pale, bloodied kid that stands before them.

“The loser is probably here to try to hang out with us-” Adam says as just like a bolt of lightning the new kid with one punch decapitates the last bully. The new kid turns and faces Adam and with a slight smile says:

You’ll have to live with what you’ve done
’till the day you die.


Eye for an eye,
makes the whole world blind.


So let me remind you of this,
Don’t be mindless of your deeds.


Because when your last day shall come,
your judgement shall be done.

The walking corpse dropped the lifeless skull in his hands and walked away from Adam back into that dark, dark night.

Categories
Short Stories

Inktober Day #1: Ring

A gentle summer breeze blows across the blades of grass along the hillside; gently picking them up and laying them back down before the breeze reaches the man and woman. The breeze gives the man and woman a temporary escape from the warm air that surrounds them as the next breeze is waiting to reach them. In the sky away from them and over the ocean is the sun as it meanders toward the water and as it does so, the sky gently fades from a bright blue to a light purple. They wish that they could stop all of time and just feel this moment for an eternity. As the sky fades closer and closer to a dark purple, the man feels as if his opportunity is fading and needs to act fast if he was to act at all. His hand slips in his pocket as he feels around the velvet box to make sure it is still there. As his fingers caress the box, he takes a deep breath and thinks of all of the great moments over the years together.

From the time of their first date, where he embarrassed himself tremendously as he accidentally spilled his drink on his lap. They still laugh about this moment so many dates after. From the time he first visited her parents and that incredible nervousness that later was for nothing as they were the best and most supportive people he ever met. From the time he first stayed the night at her place and how they cuddled for hours for warmth as they laid and watched TV. He thought of all these moments that led to where he was now and where it could lead him.

To the future; where the church bells ring of song of their love and unending relationship. As he stands at the end of aisle waiting for his bride. When she appears in her dress and Here Comes the Bride starts playing on that old church organ. It takes all of his might to not cry in awe of this majestic scene unravel before him as he waits for his bride. In the end his strength wasn’t enough as the tears of joy and awe slowly start to fall across face. In order to keep his composure he has to take out his handkerchief and quickly wipe his face clean of tears. Step by step she approaches him as she walks down the aisle with a slow measured pace. Finally when she reaches the altar and the man sees her in her wedding dress and veil, he is reconfirmed that this is the one he’ll love forever. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death does them part.

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the ring out of the velvet box. Drops to a knee and asks:

“Will you marry me?”

Categories
Short Stories

The Book of Life

Have you ever felt that you were living inside of a book? A book that has its tragedies, has its comedic moments, has its romantic zest. Every moment is yet another swipe of a pen in the long term story of the world. Every event is just another point in the plot diagram of where your story is taking you. 

Every choice didn’t matter because it is what the plot planned from the beginning. If this was the case think to yourself who would be the main character in the book of life. Would it be the most wealthy guy in the world on his yacht thinking about the days of his youth? Would it be a homeless man lying on a park bench facing the stars dreaming of how he is going change the world? Is it you reading this story and realizing that you are just as important to this story as everyone else involved in it?

That is the beauty of the book of life. Everyone has say of where we go next in the story. From the day you were born, you had a pencil. While you were a baby you had no ideas of the intricacies of this pen you were endowed. But you grew into this pen as you hurt and felt hurt. With the hurt came the knowledge that people can effect your story even without meaning to. With the hurting came the knowledge that you can effect others stories without meaning to. This pencil is your tool, this pencil is your sword, this pencil is your shield.

With every pencil there is always two sides. The side for writing beautiful dreams and stories that fill your heart with rhythm and music that sometimes only you can feel. The other side for feeling pain, regret and remorse for what is on page that you use to quickly erase the page. You can dream out the best words to fill the story of your life but if you don’t have the strength to stand to those words and quickly erase them. You will never live up to the words that lay before you because those words simply do not lay before you. Other people can also erase your words if the words before you intersects  with where they want to go. But remember even at intersections of plots there is no need to fear, we can go on with our story together.

If you wouldn’t mind I would like to write something in your story:

In this moment was when a writer came into your life and gave you some advice. Advice that many may know but even so he wanted to share it anyways.

He wanted to share:

“You have a pen. You have a story. The only thing that is missing is the writing. The writing is what you have to do, no one will do it for you. They can give you inspiration as  what to write about whether that inspiration comes in the form of companionship, friendship or love. Just let the ink flow on the page as you follow every dream and every passion with a fury of lowercase letters, uppercase letters and punctuation.”

He paused for a second while writing to find the next best words to fit. With a burst of inspiration he found them:

“You can do anything in your writing but remember that you only have so much ink to write until your inkwell runs dry and once that inkwell dries up your story is finished.  So until then write, write and write about the bad times, about the good times for they’ll be few and they’ll be many. Because the best stories are those filled with adversity.”

Categories
Short Stories

Runaway

It was the day of my 20th birthday. A package came in from my mother. I haven’t seen my mother in a while and my father in an even longer time.

My father wasn’t in my life for most of it. I never really understood why. I always saw pictures of the three of us where we were playing around outside, everyone as happy as can be. So I’ve always had theories that maybe my dad cheated and left his wife and me behind to settle and just become dust of what was his life long ago. Maybe he was secretly an alcoholic and  it was so long ago I don’t remember his moments of spite and anger as he went on with his drunken rage and ire.

In any case I had a cardboard box in front of me from times that I since have left behind. For a second I just let the box linger in hopes that it was just an apparition and that it would fade away. It didn’t so I went and got a knife to open the box. The knife slid through the tape on top of the box with ease and the box opened and released a musty smell of wet and damp paper.

Inside the box laid a stack of letters several of which were tied together with a delicate red ribbon and had a slight yellow stain to them. On top of those letters laid a white clean letter with “To Emily” on the outside of it. Since the white letter was the cleanest and most recent I decided to open it just for a clue of what might lay inside of the other letters within the bow.

The letter went:

Dear Emily,

I’ve been holding on to a secret for too long and with your 20th birthday coming up, I think it is time for me to finally tell you the truth. In this box lays letters from your father that he left you to read before he left. As a kid you always asked me where your father went and I just couldn’t tell you the truth, it hurt too much. Before I knew it you grew in to a young woman before my eyes and I was still telling you the same lie I told you as a young girl. That pain I felt went deep to my core and I felt it every day. I loved your father very much. But after feeling that pain for so long it morphed into anger and confusion as why he could’ve left us to be so alone. Anger that you might of felt at sometimes was directed towards you and I’m sorry for it. If I could go back into the past and change it I would but I can’t. So here I am writing this letter from a point of view of regret and sorrow. I hope you can forgive me someday with the knowledge that I might never forgive myself. I don’t know exactly what these letters from your father may contain as I never had the heart to open them as he left them for you to open. Please enjoy the letters and try not to be angry at me for not giving them to you sooner. I love you.

Sincerely,

Your mother

As I got closer and closer to the end of the letter I became less and less focused on it but rather focused on the many yellow envelopes that now sat unopened in front of me. Confusion, sadness and a little anger swelled up inside me as I cut loose the envelopes from the red ribbon and sprawled them in front of me. Without a whole lot of certainty I took the envelop to the left of me that was on top of the pile and opened it with care. Inside the envelope was a tan shaded letter with a black handwritten message.

My dearest,

Happy 5th birthday! I just want you to know I love you with all my heart and me not being there doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you. Hopefully someday I can return but this situation is one I do not fully understand yet. A situation of men being men and acting awfully foolhardy. For now just remember that your mama is there for you when you need her and that I’ll be thinking of you. Love you.

 

Sincerely,

Your Dad

The words on the page slowly leaked into my brain as I soaked in every detail. Every word hitting like a bomb shell as I explored into the letters that presumably my father left me on the day he left. Tears began to swell in front of my eyes and even though I hated crying, I had to read more. I took the next letter with less delicacy than before and tore it open.

My beloved daughter,

Happy 10th birthday. If I’m not back yet I fear the worst has happened. Remember that I love you with all my heart dear. I will always be with you in spirit and I’ll never leave your side. You may have days of trouble, hurt and pain but I just want you to know that it’ll be okay. Just keep your head up and stay strong but don’t forget to reach out to people when you need help. I love you so much and I miss you.

 

Sincerely,

Your Dad

What is the worst that he feared happened? That my mom and I left him behind to sink back into the fog of our memories. That he drank himself into oblivion and couldn’t find his way home. How could he carry such love and passion for me but have the gut instinct that he wouldn’t be back to care for me? The letter left me with more questions than answers before so I had to keep reading the envelopes. I took the next envelop and ripped it open to reveal the next message in this evolving mystery.

 

My dear daughter,

Happy 15th birthday. I love you. I thought writing these letters would be easier than it has been so far. But it is hard to think of an appropriate thing to say when I know you are going to be reading this in 10 years from where I am now. Sincerely I hope you don’t hate me for leaving but men have to right the wrongs of other men. I don’t know if your mother has told you anything about me or has just left the letters to describe my untimely disappearance. I just want to let you know I left for you, for your mother, for your kids, for a better tomorrow. I still don’t think you are old enough to understand quite yet but just remember that I stood up for you and everyone we know.

 

Sincerely,

Your Papa

Words shot out of the page like bullets from a machine gun. At first I tried to dodge each bullet but soon the gunfire was too intense that every word exploded on my heart and brain. My entire life seemed like an fabricated lie that waited until this moment to unravel and leave me more confused than I was before. The only thing that seemed real was the last letter that laid before me. Everything else faded into a blur around me as the letter fell directly into the focal point of my attention.  Hesitation is what I felt before opening the last letter. Hesitation that I might be better off not reading the last letter. Hesitation that fueled my entire childhood as I felt abandoned, lost and confused. After a deep breath I picked up the letter and slowly tore open the last letter.

 

 

 

Categories
Short Stories

Aging

Being a kid, wishing to get older. You begin by wanting life to speed up and get past the boring parts but without realizing some of the best years pass by in that blur. First day of school, first friends, first kiss, so many firsts that you’ll never experience for the first time ever again. With the upsides in the firsts, you also get the downsides in firsts. First fight among friends, first heartbreak, first loss of a loved one. These firsts bring with them a new feeling of pain and suffering you never experienced before. As a kid you look at being an adult with eager eyes to put these bad experiences behind you along with the good experiences.

Being an adult, wishing to get younger. You begin by wanting life to slow down and not fly by but without realizing some of the best years are in front of you. First day of school for your kids, first time meeting new people, first kiss as a married couple, so many firsts that you’ll get to experience for the first time ever. With these firsts also comes the downsides in firsts. First day of your kids moving out, first time losing someone that you spent your entire life with, first time feeling pain and losing vigor for everyday activities. These firsts bring with them a new feeling of pain and suffering you never experienced before. As an adult you look at being a kid with eager eyes to put these bad experiences behind you along with the good experiences.

Sometimes all it takes to change your perspective is to just live in the moment. Life isn’t meant to be relived. Take these lessons, these experiences; all forward with you but don’t let them drag you down. To put it simply, seize the day, Carpe diem: because the day already belongs to you.

Categories
Short Stories

Ineffable

Ineffable

  1. Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

 

Sitting back in the car watching the endless road approach the family van and pass by us before vanishing back into infinity behind us. I remember fragments of said family vacations like little notes to myself for when I get older is how I think about it. Little kid me thinks to himself “Hey, this is a great idea for a vacation” or “Wow this is insane, I hope I can remember this when I’m older”.

I remember driving from where we lived in Missouri to all the way out to Colorado, all the way out to Wyoming, all the way out to South Carolina. From sea to shining sea I remember brief memories from all of these different places we have been. I think present me needs to pass notes on to older me before I forget the spark notes of my life.

Dear older me,

The places we’ve been, the places we’ve seen. Do you remember riding in the family van at the time all the way to Colorado? This was the first place you ever skied and you were so excited to try it! Going up and down the bunny hills a million times until you nailed it down to an art. After getting down your pizza and french fry technique (pizza to slow down, french fry to speed up) and then getting to go down a couple green hills and then eventually a blue which was outlandish to you to even try! But, when you put your mind to it, you could do it!

Do you remember Wyoming, the place where buffaloes marched and hot geysers sprayed up from their dormant states? Wyoming was part of a bigger trip than you often don’t remember from the notes you left as a kid, you actually went to several places such as Minnesota to South Dakota then to Wyoming. It was your first and only time dune buggy riding in Minnesota where the hills and dunes of sand where bigger than life. Thinking back I remember younger me thinking that we were just about to fly off the hill straight into the stars. From Minnesota to South Dakota losing some clothes along the way (the carrier on top of the family van flew open and all of our clothes were scattered over I-90 West). Then after losing some clothes and creating a memory along the way you made it to South Dakota where you got to see Mount Rushmore and learn about the history of the men who got to spend their days blowing up rock with TNT as a living! After spending a couple nights in South Dakota we left and went to our final stop at Yellowstone, Wyoming. Along the way we stopped and got to see real life cowboys take on unbelievable feats with their horses and take on bulls with their rope. After all the traveling we stopped at our final destination which was Yellowstone Park. Yellowstone was amazing, your kid self reminds you to take your own kids there some day! From seeing ineffable views such as the geysers erupting before your eyes, to mountain lions eyeing everything below on the ridges of the mountaintop, to stampedes of what seemed to be millions of buffaloes marching their way out of the hills and onto the street below (mostly remembering you being in awe of said buffalo as everyone else was angry about the inconvenience they created). It was amazing, we can leave it at that.

One more adventure I want you to remember older me. Another family trip but this time it was for a wedding. A wedding all the way out in South Carolina, a family trip that brought your whole father’s side of the family together. We all rented a house and made it fit for 15 whole people. Remember having a pool right in your back yard and also being extremely close to the beach. Everyone was having a fun time dancing, singing karaoke, making fools of themselves. Even your grandma was there, Doris, who at the time was beginning to show signs of a battle with Alzheimer’s that taught you the importance of memory. The reason you are sitting at your desk right now writing this to yourself. Older me, I hope you take notes. Not a diary necessarily but just writing stuff down from day to day as a way to keep your memories intact and from fading into the distance like the road on a long, long highway.

Sincerely,

Younger you.