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"Favorite?" short story excerpt

Thursday 2/2/23

Closest you’ve ever felt to another person?

The time I was scared of the water and my dad jumped off the diving board holding me. He said it would be okay.

Was it?


Importance of religion?

There was this forest I went to after I got back. I did trail running. Off of one of the deep trails, where I was just wandering after wrapping up my run, there was this rock that was like a chair, sort of in a clearing. It had the bottom, the back, the legs. I knew that the rocks hadn’t been shaped that way on their own. And no one else went into that part of the woods. But there it was. I’d get there before dawn and sit in the chair as I caught my breath. The sun came up through the trees. That’s all I know about religion.

Thoughts on cheating?

My wife used to be with a lot of guys when I was away. Then with some when I was back. She’d say I wasn’t all the way back, like that made it more permissible. I’d confront her when I knew where she’d been. We’d fight. Then she’d say, “You still want to do it anyway?” That would end up happening.

Do you embarrass easily?

I didn’t used to.

Fear of death?

For now, yes. Later I think I’ll understand better.

Fear of life?



To get all of the tarnish off the silverware. It’s something my mother used to say in a bigger purpose sense when there was no silverware around. I didn’t know what it meant. She would have me polish the actual silverware, too. I didn’t mind. Tarnish fascinated me. I don’t know what it is or where it comes from. What it it exactly? It’s not dirt. I found it almost noble in how it kept coming back. And it’s not like it’s ugly.


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