What if

What if all the men of color who somehow managed to escape the criminal justice system to reach adulthood got together? What if they paraded before a television camera to say their name and what they do? Everyone from the most famous like Barack Obama and Neil deGrasse Tyson to the local high school teachers and the doctors and the business owners and the government workers? What if we made all the police departments in America watch that?

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The Five Paragraph Essay

A few years back I worked as a contractor at IBM. One of the women I worked with had kids in middle school. One day she sent me an email about something. It was a perfect 5 paragraph essay. The opening paragraph with her 3 points, the 3 supporting paragraphs, and the summary. She’d been helping her kids with their homework, I’ll bet.

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Guarantee

There are no guarantees in life. Things can change in a moment and the future looks completely different after that moment passes. When I met her I was just passing through town. I was minding my own business, filling my gas tank, buying a soda and a bag of peanuts, and she walked up to me.

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The Flood

Yeah, I was living here in the flood of ’71. I lived in a house with a basement then. The whole basement, clear up to the ceiling, filled with muddy water. It was awful. We hauled buckets of mud out of there. Then we had to tear out all the walls because of the mold. It was awful. You know, you can’t ever get that smell out. It was awful.

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Gnats

I think gnats are magic. You walk through them on the sidewalk like they weren’t there. If you see one in the house and slap at it, it simply disappears. Gone. Not on your hand, not in the air. Gone.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make the swarms of gnats you run into as you walk disappear with a slap of your hand?

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Darling

How did they make the air in the dog pound smell so fresh? Her mind was on Fabreze as she wandered between the cages, eyeing eager dogs. Too big and hairy. Too small and yippy. “This one’s darling,” she said. She knelt before a mid-sized dog – mostly brown with one floppy ear. The dog looked back at her with interest and sniffed at her finger tips. “Could we take her out?”

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Trapped

I was trapped by my lie. Trapped by my own omission. I made it harder for myself because I longed to talk about it. I wanted to share it, reveal it all. Somehow I managed to keep my mouth shut. I don’t normally do well at that. But I did it this time.

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Best Friend

When you’re young, you classify your friends. You have a best friend, a second best friend. When you’re older you just have friends. Some of them you may not see for months or years, but when you do, the friendship holds. When you’re young, you need a best friend. When you’re older, you simply need friends.

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Secret

Can you keep a secret?

Well, that depends. If I’m not as trustworthy as you hope, will the consequences be really hurtful or dangerous?

Huh?

The secret – is it about something that could hurt people?

No. It’s about Sandy’s birthday.

Oh. Yeah, I can keep a secret.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “secret.”