Pluperfect

Neil Shurley
An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)
3 min readOct 5, 2020

--

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

I moved to Hawaii in ‘96.

I taught myself banjo in ‘02.

I dumped Rachel before I let her move in with me.

I accepted that guy’s invitation to join his rotating crew and help sail his yacht from Cabo San Lucas to San Francisco.

Then I stayed in San Francisco for three months and ate several times at that dollar-a-piece sushi happy hour that Michael told me about. Every time I would order three hamachi, one salmon, one squid.

I asked Stephanie Streit to dance at the junior high mixer.

I told Dr. Davis what I really thought of his poli sci class.

When my Dad asked me to hand him a wrench, I knew which one he meant.

I ate all my vegetables without being threatened.

I passed out after the MD 20/20 but before the rum.

Judith Peary and I spent two hours making out instead of paying good money to see Jack Frost starring Michael Keaton.

We went on a second date.

I stuck with the Cub Scouts even after Ronnie and Denny quit.

I stopped at Stephanie Streit’s house and knocked on the door instead of just riding past on my bike several times each weekend, hoping that she would be standing around outside.

I caught the ball.

I swerved just in time.

I watched less television.

I did all my assigned reading. Even Beowulf.

When Marie started talking about her day I turned off the television completely instead of just hitting the ‘mute’ button.

I looked at the glass as half-full.

I walked backstage after Show Boat and congratulated Stephanie Streit on her performance, even though the play was terrible and her voice only adequate. I told her how I’d transferred to the high school across town but still thought of her often. Then I invited her to the prom.

I told Carol I loved her new haircut.

I majored in something useful.

After Marie told me she was moving out because she needed to learn how to rely on herself I hopped into the Peugeot and drove east, not thinking about a…

--

--

Neil Shurley
An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

Writer. Actor. Musician. Nerd. Thinks too much about Star Trek, Doctor Who, ukuleles, coffee, and donuts. Not necessarily in that order. neilshurley.com