with bravado

one man's 29-year-old quest to live and share a worthy story

sunday post: time travel.

Sunday Post 8

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade opens with a chase sequence. In particular, the sequence stars a teenaged Indiana, already jumping train cars and braving danger in pursuit of keeping museum relics out of the hands of the greedy. The sequence results in failure, however; Indiana’s father forces him to return the artifact, and young Indiana bows his face, in dismay, to the floor. When he lifts his face, the scene has changed, and he is now Harrison Ford. All at once, the boy is a man, and he now has the power to right this wrong.

At the age of seven, while waiting to be let out of the school bus, I studied my sneakers and tried to bring this magic unto myself. Blink, I practiced, and you’ll glance up and won’t be a kid anymore. I tried and tried, but it was to no avail.

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sunday post: slow down.

Sunday Post Today

The wheels of my plane hit concrete at 11:43 PM, jarring the plane enough to wake the toddler two rows ahead of me. He began to cry, his mother hushing him and looking around nervously at other passengers. She met my glance, and I flashed a gentle smile. She returned to her baby. I returned to my phone. You may now use your mobile devices, our flight attendant said airily, my thumb rolling through Twitter in the hopes of perusing without hearing about Trump. You may disable Airplane mode. I’d disabled it on the decline, messages leaping from the sky and into my palms. I smiled. Tiny rebellions.

I spent the previous weekend in New Orleans with my father and brothers. The King men. We set out to have a weekend we’d remember forever, and, I thought foggily on an Uber ride back to my apartment in the City, I think we succeeded. Slushies in foam cups, patio conversations about life and politics and how freaking lucky we are to know each other. Tears, laughs, hugs, because now we had time to say what we’d been carrying for each other. Groggy walks in the morning contrasting bombastic nighttime wandering.

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sunday post: on mess and magic.

Sunday Post 9

I was 25 years old when I fell apart for the first time. Until that moment, I thought, my life held up to pretty close scrutiny: I set goals and reached them, I was smiling in all the pictures, I’d closely managed my brushes with heartbreak. In short, I’d ‘kept my shit together,’ a 25-year tightrope walk, each step careful and anxious, but poised and pleasant to the outside eye.

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sunday post: what i know about love.

Sunday Post 10

Three weddings, and they’ve all begun the same way: I meander into a coffee shop, order an iced coffee with soy, settle into a table next to a window. There I sit, pull my journal open to an empty page, uncap my pen. Inhale, exhale, my fingers tentative. What is it, the blank page whispers, you want to say to them about love?

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sunday post: hometowns.

Sunday Post 7

Brazil, Indiana. Situated along I-70 between Terre Haute and Indianapolis. Around 8,000 citizens, most of whom are pretty white and pretty straight. A robust marching band program at the high school, small town football Friday nights, parades through the city dotting the calendar year. Churches on hilltops with gravel driveways, cemeteries where teenagers drive and turn the headlights off in search of ‘ghost lights.’ A Walmart, not Super but sufficient, and a 24-hour truck stop restaurant just off the interstate. Tractors periodically parked in the high school parking lot, cars whizzing by fields of corn and soybeans en route home.

We weren’t raised to proclaim our hometown with pride. As teenagers, we spent most of our time rolling our eyes and charting escape routes. Some of us lifted into the wind, and others abandoned those plans and put down roots. The best of us know that none of us was wrong.

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sunday post: grief and growth.

Sunday Post 3

‘How are you?’ my friend asked me, cutting me off mid-sentence. Her eyes were open, unblinking, and fixed on mine. ‘Really,’ she said, ‘how are you?’

It was November of 2016, and she and I’d arrived to the restaurant maybe five minutes before. Amidst the bustle of a conference, we’d met in the hotel lobby, setting aside time and space to catch up with one another. When she arrived to the lobby, she found me sitting nearby on a couch, steeped in conversation with the man who’d handed back my heart, in pieces, a few months earlier. I wrapped up the conversation, hugged him goodbye, and walked with her to the restaurant in near-silence. Sitting across from me, in that moment, she wasn’t interested in hearing how ‘fine’ I was.

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sunday post: my friends.

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A funny thing happens when somebody asks me to talk about my friends: I start trying to capture them quickly, sketch an outline of who they are to me, find a quick anecdote, and soon I’m overflowing. A second story, stitched into my sternum with golden thread, rolls across the table. Before I know it, I’ve been talking for a few minutes, my eyes a little wet. ‘You must love your friends,’ says the person across from me, and I shrug and nod.

Yes. Yes, I do.

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