Telling Stories in 10 Seconds or Less


Today I watched the trees rustle in the glow of an April sunset, and memories came to me like lapping waves. I could do nothing but smile at the privilege of remembering.

What a lovely burden it is. Perhaps that is the blissful curse of humanity, of living this life on earth, and of writing. That even as something happens, you’re assigning it to memory. Every last aching breath of it. You’re bottling it up and saving the sweetness and sadness and gut-wrenching beauty of it for later.

Sometimes, much later.


My father cutting into a watermelon. Yellow, not red. Tears of laughter around the table.

Waiting for chicks to hatch. One egg cracking. The life inside only half-ready.

Late to class. Open door. Wrong one. Smile, just smile.

Slanted light. Books tossed aside. Breath caught in throats.

A guitar pick strung around the neck. Teenage euphoria.

First date jitters. Double chocolate chip. Blue and red lights in our eyes.

Oxygen tube. Stop praying. Start begging.

The new kid. Sidelong glances. Your report card is too good. No chance.

Art museum. Sunday touches. Don’t stop.

Anger in the kitchen. Sack of carrots, thrown. The top was open. Fight, forgotten.

One glass of chardonnay too many. Packed bags. Flying home, separately.

Gray drizzle. White water. Raft flirtation.

Halloween party. Tight dress. Beer sloshing.

Playing with his wheelchair. He doesn’t need it.

Nestling into my mother’s Saturday warmth. Coffee mug. Blue robe.

Huge tractor. Small dog.

Graduation. Freezing cold. Warm bar. Applause for you.

Bourbon with a stranger. 2 AM.

Crowded theater. Stage tears, real tears. Can’t tell.

Family brunch. With him. Mother’s approval.

Hill country river. Forgotten swimsuit. Jump in.


And on and on until I can do nothing but write them all down, put them on paper because what else are they for?


It’s a lie that everyone has a story.

Everyone has ten thousand stories and how lucky we are to tell them.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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