- I realized I was falling in love with my next door neighbor when I swerved to avoid hitting a toad and lost control of my car and ended up in a ditch, and ran to his house for comfort, my heart beating wildly and the adrenalin still pulsing in my veins.
- My best friend and I got identical rips in our pants at the same instant when we were clambering over a cyclone fence to her dad's house.
- I know people with the following nicknames: Pumpkinhead, The Cheese, Drizzle, Harpo, Wibber, Mighty Mo, 517, 4, Dr. Groovy, Panthro, Beaner, Curbside, Fang, Nimbus, Nutmeat, Scupper, Papa Queso, and Bugger.
- I have a neighbor whose first name I don't know but who tells me about his glass eye almost every time I see him.
- The dilapidated old cannery behind Liberty Tool in Liberty is an amazing architectural experiment inside. The sculptor who lives there bought a new silver Audi A6 wagon and painted it a dull black with housepaint so he could drive it in the winter without worrying about the finish being damaged by the salty, dirty roads.
- The way [___] found out her husband was cheating on her was when she contracted a venereal disease.
- Sometimes regattas on Mystic Lake have to be postponed because someone has committed suicide by driving their car into the lake, and you have to wait for the police to pull the car out.
- In a convenience store line this weekend a man with some kind of intellectual disability said, "Excuse me, but you are very pretty." I thanked him and asked what town I was in, and he gave me a detailed geography and history of the region, stammering a little to get out each word.
- [__ ] was abducted at gunpoint and taken down a river in Belize and raped, and she escaped by running through the jungle, and nobody believed that she had something in her foot until a thorn she'd stepped on worked its way to the surface a year later.
- When we were stopped at a service station in Georgia, filling up the F150, a woman gestured at the Hobie 33 on the trailer behind us and asked, "Is that one of them helicopter-boat-planes?"
There are so many absurd details and terrible stories I can think of, far-fetched situations or interactions that don't play out the way you think they will or should. I am thinking of dozens more small moments, secret shames or odd details I am privy to from my own life and the lives of people I intersect with. People are so surprising. Life is tragic and awful and sweet and whimsical, and we push along in the face of absurdity, worrying about mundane things. I've been thinking about details lately, and what's realistic and what sounds true and what sounds like a cliche. I've been thinking about this quote from Willa Cather, too:
....there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.... (via Tom Guariello)