Pluperfect

Neil Shurley
Oct 5 · 3 min read
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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 destination, not stopping until I made it to the ocean.

I mailed her a postcard I bought at a gift shop on a pier. “Marie:” I wrote on it, “I was relying on you.”

I voted for Al Gore.

I asked Marie to give me the ring back. Then I hocked it and spent the money on beer.

I passed the audition for Jeopardy and came in second. A year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni, I discovered, will actually last you more than three years.

I looked both ways.

I took a year off from shaving.

I took a year off from haircuts.

I took a year off.

I didn’t even get an interview for the telemarketing job.

When push came to shove, I gave as good as I got.

I found out where Stephanie Streit went to college and arranged to visit the campus during one of her track meets. I brought her flowers and cheered her on.

I kissed her goodbye before she got on that plane. I held her tightly and told her all the things I’d been meaning to say since I’d first seen her sitting in the chair in front of me, playing the flute in the junior high band, her long hair hiding her from me until the bell rang and I saw her face and she smiled at me, the only girl in school brave enough to smile at the new kid on his first day.

I got on the plane with her. We went down together. We weren’t afraid.

An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

Everything Begins With An Idea

Neil Shurley

Written by

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

An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

No Matter What People Tell You, Words And Ideas Can Change The World.

Neil Shurley

Written by

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

An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

No Matter What People Tell You, Words And Ideas Can Change The World.

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