When you hear about Texas, a few things may come to mind:
Salsa and cheese dip
Big AF state
You likely don't think of the state as possibly being home to America's first UFO crash, which took place 50 years before the better-known Roswell incident. From my experience, most people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are unaware of the Aurora, Texas, UFO incident, even though it happened practically in their back yard.
I've lived my whole life in the Sun Belt, so Earth's favorite star is no stranger to me. But only recently did I grow to appreciate the sun.
That appreciation likely grew out of the first week of Dallas County's stay-at-home order, when those first few days brought grey skies and the daily probability of rain, the constantly dreary forecast complementing the mood of catastrophe. I grew up an indoor kid and into an indoor adult, but due to the extended stay-at-home order, I've never spent so much time inside my home as I have during these last five weeks.
Until recently, I never particularly enjoyed the heat of the sun. But now I find myself looking for excuses to soak up some rays. I've learned to enjoy pulling weeds in the front yard if only for the opportunity to get some natural vitamin D. And sometimes I pull up a chair in the back yard and sit with a book or my Kindle and catch up on some reading in the sunlight.
I'm sure my opinion of the sun will change once summer rolls in, and if history is any indicator, this Texas spring will be short-lived and short-enjoyed. But I'll worry about that when the time comes. For now, I want to enjoy this gift of realization from social distancing.
If you've just woken from a coma and now find yourself unable to make sense of what's going on—or not going on—around you, let me give you a TL;DR explanation: The world's gone to shit in a relatively short amount of time. We all hope our current reality will be temporary, but there's no denying where we are in this moment.
I recently submitted a short story to a literary journal. While I do not know whether the publication will accept my short story, I have already enjoyed the process. Maybe I enjoyed it because this submission was my first. Or maybe I enjoyed it because of whom the submission was to.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve fallen in love with Taco Bell Quarterly. The premise makes it easy: It’s a literary journal dedicated to all things Taco Bell. In the past I had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude about Taco Bell, but since discovering this wonderful journal, my patronage has increased. Now I got Taco Bell on the brain, yo.
After reading through a few stories and poems, I thought, Yeah, I wanna be a part of this. So I set out working on a short story titled “A Taco Bell Breakup”.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the whole “human experience” thing right. The concern usually arises when I'm expected to reminisce and recall specific memories. Ones that some people take for granted.
Google “how to accomplish sumthin awsum” and early in your research you will likely find advice suggesting to create goals. It's good advice because we find it difficult to achieve something when we don't know what the hell we're trying to achieve. Goals add clarity. Selecting our paths is easier when we know where we want to go.
In your research, you likely find advice saying that your goals should be reasonably attainable. Why set yourself up for failure by trying to achieve something impossible? You also likely find advice telling you to write your goals on paper. Typing doesn't count because typing is for the undedicated, the suckas. If you're not willing to pull out pen and paper and risk hand cramp by writing a couple of lines, are you even committed, bro?
Today I’m another year older. Damn, where does the time go?
As kids, most of us couldn’t wait to get older. 10 years of age signified double digits. 13, the entry into teenage years. (In hindsight, we realize teenage-dom is something to dread.) At 16, we’re finally legal to drive, which means our parents will never rest easily again. When we’re 18, we convince ourselves we’re adults and maybe we even vote a time or two before we decide it’s more fun to complain about democracy than it is to participate.
We get to a point when we stop looking forward to birthdays. I can’t remember the last birthday I was excited about, but I do know I started dreading them at 30 because 30 hurt. Bad. The pain seemed to set into my bones once I was conscious of the fact that I had reached the milestone of the big three oh. Dirty thirty. More like hurty thirty.
My son had asked the question so many times whenever we had gone to Frys, but I didn’t know as we got out of the car on a Saturday afternoon and headed toward the store that this trip may be the last time he would ask. I told him I didn’t have any quarters, which was a truth I would later regret.
I spend so much time trying to get out of my head yet I've spent the last few weeks trying to get back in. The holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving disrupted the routine I had spent most of 2019 creating. One of my proudest accomplishments of the year was negated by a few days off work. 2019 was the year I realized the importance of consistency. And 2020 will by the year I focus on regaining and maintaining consistency while preparing for the disruption that will come with the 2020 holiday season.