You might hate my first story, but maybe you’ll like the next. Editor at The Last Call Express. More at Say hi:

For anything new to begin, something must first end.

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Coldness reflected off the gray paint in the bedroom.

An empty room, except for a lonely bed.

An empty bed occupied by myself and my thoughts.

Wrapped in white bedding, I hid my head from the void around me. I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to accept. I didn’t want the life I now lived.

Clouded sunlight from the window above failed to warm the blanket. The open window letting in a Michigan January made sure of that.

Suddenly lost in a very real reality I didn’t know what to do. …

I needed it to be different.

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“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked.

I nodded swiftly, a reflex before my brain could catch up.

If I let myself think, If I let myself sift through memories, my entire body might shut down.

My bare chest pressed against her exposed skin. She lay there, calm, looking at me. My body shook From fear. From excitement. From a bottleneck of emotions, I didn’t fully understand.

A sliver of moonlight sliced in through the lone window above the bed. It caught just enough of her eyes. I looked away. They weren’t the eyes I knew. The eyes I shared the bed with throughout my marriage. …

Not all forms of sex are created equal.

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It’s a myth.

It’s the glorification of something that’s no different than the kind of sex everyone else has.

If you’ve ever talked about “making love” with a group of people there will be at least one person, if not several in the group, who flat out deny the concept. Sex is sex, some people just put more importance into it than others, they might tell you. They might suggest the best sex they’ve ever had came during a one night stand.

But they would be wrong.

There absolutely is a difference between “making love” and having sex. It’s scientifically proven. And it has nothing to do with the quality of foreplay or the other person’s physical ability. …

I often thought of her dog. I wonder if her dog thought of me?

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Some pictures are worth a thousand words.

This one left me speechless.

An image of a golden retriever, yellow locks stained white with time. The green of uncut grass mingling with the fur of her belly, twisting with curs under her floppy ears, cushioning her head as she slept. Sunlight tucking her in under its warming blanket.

“We said goodbye to…” text under the image read.

I didn’t need to go any further. I didn’t need to read another word written by my ex-wife.

Her dog had died.

A dog I once called my own with her.

And now, all I can do is send my mental comfort. Comfort in a way only a dog can bring about. …

My solo journey so far and what it’s taught me about the human race.

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A teary mom waved to the rearview mirror.

I threw one last goodbye hand out the window, then turned and was gone. Destination unknown, I headed for the interstate. Dogs in the back seat, trailer in tow, my mind’s compass set a course.

A course to escape humanity.

The worst of humanity had bogged down my very being. Greed and corruption and the ugliness of desire clung to my boat of life like an anchor caught on the ocean floor.

Tired of derailed plans at the hands of others I decided to jump ship. To bail on the boat and swim. Swim away from the caught anchor. …

#2 — It’s okay to tell someone they are right.

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Relationship arguments.

We’ve all had them. Some are beneficial. It helps clear the air, align understandings, and even bring us closer together with our significant others. And yet there are other arguments where you reach a standstill, but both of you know the argument can’t end in a standstill. In many ways, it’s who blinks first loses.

Far too many relationship arguments escalate due to such a standstill. Why exactly does this happen? Because the human brain is wired to be negative. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Society For Personality and Social Psychology, the brain instinctively leans toward negative thoughts in order to keep the person safe. …

Or, at the very least, make the most of what you have.

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The empty chair.

It says more than your absent family member ever could.

The void space, seemingly heavier than anything else at the dinner table, draws your occasional glance. At times you expect to walk out of the kitchen, welcomed by your uncle’s laugh or your grandmother’s warm smile. It’s a favorite memory. A painting of happier days gone by, and now, living in the twisted alteration of your memory, the impact of that empty chair fails to dissipate.

Hopefully, that empty space at the dinner table proves temporary. That when the holidays come around next year everyone will be back in their rightful place. In your rightful memory. If not, many of us know what you’re going through. …

The holidays, loss, and advice from a comic book stuffed animal.

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“Would this prove appropriate?”

Emotions bottlenecked my mom’s throat. Tears fogged her eyes. She nodded.

The funeral director nodded, taking the book-shaped urn with him. The eventual final resting place of my father’s remains.

If anything represented my dad, it was books. For a man with such a love for the written word, nothing else would do. One of the few things to work out a decade ago, two weeks before Thanksgiving.


In November of 2009, my dad ultimately became part of what represented him. His library.

He spent a lifetime building a personal collection. With more volumes than most public libraries, he carved out a sanctuary between bound paper and aged leather. Growing up, if I couldn’t find him at home, I’d find him within the sanctity of his office, surrounded by tens of thousands of friends. Tucked up on the third floor of a colonial-style church, I’d round narrow stairs as if trekking a medieval bell tower in search of an imprisoned princess or a recluse mystic. …

Sherbet lights, Bangkok nights, and cucumbers.

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A hot night. Continued sweat suctioned cotton to the back of my neck, perpetually reminding me of my need for a drink. While the sun took its much-deserved break, humidity did not sleep. Despite creature comforts readily available, Bangkok did what it could to ensure complete comfort remained an air-conditioned bar away.

Wandering the streets, nothing caught my eye. Away from the tourist center of town, businesses in the downtown district turned a sweaty shoulder to the sugary drinks and women in painted-on Heineken dresses. Replaced instead with darkened skyscrapers, bellhops waiting in shadows. …

It’s not as hard as you think.

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The show where a man is dropped off in the middle of nowhere with one or two random items and is left to fend for himself, make it to a set point on a map, and just survive.

In many ways, that’s what sex is like.

Here’s some duct tape, a copy of Pride and Prejudiced, and a half-used candle. Now, go and make it work.

We’re all kind of in it together and yet we’re very much alone in our personal sex lives. Perhaps if you have a long-term partner you can work out the kinks and dive into a more exploratory world, but if you’re someone who’s bouncing around a bit, that’s a bit more of a challenge. There are certain things I’m sure we’d all like to work on. …

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