(Unsent) Letter to a Beloved Young Man

Tonight, I sit at home with the windows cracked open to welcome a cool breeze and the sound of fireworks. The 4th of July is one of my fondest memories of you. I remember when Dad wanted to meet up with his friends, to do the same thing with the same people you had always done on the 4th, before I came along. Instead, the three of us stocked up on fireworks at the Red Rocket and spent the evening alone together, shooting them off. You were so creative, staging entire war scenes with your little green Army men, lighting the firecrackers on platforms of cardboard amongst the rubble of tanks. You used my juniper incense from Nepal to light a fireworks display for us – I recall Mama Mia being one of the varieties we were particularly fond of. Buddy Boy was spooked from the sounds, so we let him inside. After the show, we went in to watch the evening news and all you could do was talk about how awesome the fireworks were. “You know what was so special about the fireworks tonight? We were the only three people in the whole world who saw them,” you said, as Dad shushed you so he could listen to the television news. My heart melted and I fell a little more in love with you that night. Continue reading

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Stolen Digits

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On Wednesday nights in the summer, I bowl in a trio league. I typically head to the alley bar about an hour before league starts simply because it doesn’t pay for me to me to make the hour commute home and back after work and there’s no place else I really want to kill time in between. The bartender grabs a glass and starts on my Grey Goose and tonic as soon as I walk in the door, and I settle into a game of Candy Crush or a book on my Kindle until my teammates show up. It’s a relaxing way to unwind after work. Until last night, the only person I’ve talked to during this unwind time is the bartender, and even that conversation typically dries up after brief pleasantries are exchanged. There’s a ball game on tv and aside from a few folks on the other end of the bar, it’s usually dead. Who wants to sit in a bowling alley bar on a weeknight in summer? Continue reading