A Short Story (Chapter One)

My name is Jake. I’ve taken full liberty of the fact that my parents christened me with a name that can be shortened in a manly manner.

I’m a decent looking guy. That’s what the mirror says anyway. I take care of myself, recommended physicals and dental exams be damned. Again, the mirror is the chief authority in such matters.

As it is in so many.

But, the favorable opinions of others certainly don’t hurt. Nor do the double-takes at the liquor store when the clerks check my driver’s license. Suffice it to say, I look a few years younger than I actually am. It’s either that, or bourbon is the cradle robber of the whiskey family.

To use the word “formally” again, I am formally educated. I have the framed piece of paper to prove as such. However, much of my education has been formed by the driving force of, “I’ll show you, fucker.” Many thanks to the name-forgotten grade school teacher who once explained to a not-so-bright-eyed audience of students why Thomas Jefferson was referred to as a Renaissance Man. For the record, I was the bright-eyed one with whom that particular lesson stuck for life.

I learned to type on a typewriter while, at the same time, discovering the wonders of Tecmo Bowl. If that gives you any indication of my age, then you’re safe in saying that I lie somewhere between feeling immortal and the discovery of grays.

I would break from the introduction now, but what’s an introduction without the subject of love? I’ve loved. I’ve been loved. And in rare instances, both of those have happened at the same time. I say “rare” because, often, the timing is inconvenient. Maybe you love someone when they don’t love you back and then, in a role reversal, the opposite becomes true.

You’re not good enough for them. They’re not good enough for you. You’re not good enough for each other.

It’s the inconvenience of love that shapes us. Love only becomes convenient after the play dough is permanently dried into the carpet. And then, it starts all over again.

I’m not jaded though. I have been in the past, but I’m not now. My secret? Self-awareness, consideration, and the first ten minutes of Swingers when Mike ends his phone rant by saying, “I’m not gonna be one of those assholes.”

Now, the mirror might not say that I’m an asshole, but it’s not speaking a foreign language when it says I’m an ass. Cupid tapped the collective asses of love and self-awareness a very long time ago.

So that’s where I’ll start. At the beginning. Of all this.

Leave a comment


  1. I love this start of this “short story,” Jake. It’s refreshing to see a guy be so introspective. The inconveniences of love – the heartache, the growth, the feelings that you weren’t positive you were capable of achieving (and then some) are exactly what shapes us.

    Oftentimes, those experiences mold that play dough you were talking about. Whether or not you consider yourself one way, love has a funny way of proving quite the opposite when it’s right.

    Don’t ever cave to the mirrors perception you’re an ass :). I’m sure there’s more to you than that and I’m looking forward to reading more. if you DO cave to that perception, I’m happy to feature you on MY blog ;). (Only kidding, of course).

    • I also just (like a dummy) realized your name is Chris and this is fiction. Either way, you’re Jake from now on and I’m leaving it as such :).

      • Fair enough, Ally 🙂 Either way, thanks so much for the comments (which were awesome, btw). Hope you make it back for chapter two!

        Chris (or, Jake)

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