When a brush with death happens, people often say they’re lucky to be alive.

I don’t think luck has anything to do with it.

We’ll go back to my senior year in high school for this story — Spring Break of my senior year as a matter of fact.


When I was a kid, I hit a phase when I wanted a pen pal.

Maybe I was intrigued with the possibility of communication with a person somewhere in the wide world beyond the limits of the map dot I call home.

I was still young enough to get mail sent by someone who didn’t want my money so maybe it was the childish thrill of a letter addressed to me and hidden, like a surprise, in the mailbox.


There are days here so quiet you can hear sand hit the bottom of an hourglass, or a clock tick away the seconds.

Time moves that way, quietly.

Everybody knows time goes fast, but it tends to sneak by so quiet sometimes you forget til you’re left to wonder where it’s all gone.

Days like this tend to take me back to a time when I thought I knew a lot more than I knew, before I realized I know a lot less than I thought.


Some time ago, I presented myself with a challenge to write a fictional short story because I’d never written one before and I wanted to see if I could.

The result was rejected by at least three magazines and lost one contest, but I think it was a success.

I proved something to myself, which was enough.

Since Sue’s prompt today is “story,” now seems like a good time to post this one.

I guess it’s a tale about how some things change as years go by, and some things stay the same.

I have been an uncle for almost four years.

My sister and brother-in-law have twin girls and a son who’s younger than his sisters.

I think about the days they were born every now and then, because they were days to celebrate.

When those kids were born, I was just about euphoric.

I have probably told this story here before if you were to check the archives, but the day I became an uncle euphoria served me well.


We learn how to stand in a line in kindergarten or earlier.

I guess the reason is order or control.

Lines last throughout our lives.




Drive thrus.


Airport security.

I’ve been in plenty of lines.

This is a story about a time I got in the wrong one.