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.