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I’ve Run Out of Stories

John W. Pinkerton


The other evening I discovered something which made me sad:  I, apparently, had run out of stories.

A friend of ours was visiting with us in our home a few days ago.  I've always liked her and have admired the stories she has shared with us.  We have complimented each other on our abilities to have one more story to tell.  We were able to play our stories off of each other.  If she had a story about bees, there I was with my own story about bees.  If I had a story about a goofy friend, there she was with one to match or better my story.  However, the other evening, I suddenly realized, to my dismay, that I didn't have a story to match hers.  When she concluded her story, I just sat there raffling through my memory bank for a story new to her.  I drew a blank and had to confess this to our visitor.  She looked at me as though she were looking a child who had stumbled and bruised his knee.

I could hear crickets chirping away in my head.  I asked myself, “Is this it?  Am I going to become like a lot of old fellows who just sit and listen to the chatter of other folks with only a nod or chuckle in return?”

The principal reason my stories come so easily to my mind is that I've written them down in the form of essays.  This in itself has refreshed my memory of things which I'm sure I would otherwise not be able to drag up so easily.  My gosh, am I out of subjects for my essays?

This question brings into question whether or not I'll ever reach my goal of 300 essays, 1/10th the number accomplished by G. K. Chesterton, a writing hero of mine.  A modest goal which suddenly seems far away.  As I'm writing this essay, I have 270 of my essays on my website.  Thirty to go.  Thirty…?

I suppose some of you might suggest I make up stories.  I tried my hand at short fiction, but it was a strain to get two on paper, and it's not a task I look forward to.  So, no, I won't be making up stories.

Most of my essays are triggered by conversations I have with folks.  They say something, usually insignificant on the surface,  which triggers a memory which turns into an essay.

Being ill for the last year and a half has limited my contact with folks.  Often I just don't like leaving the house.  I stay home and putter around and most of the new information I receive is through my wife, bless her heart, Linda.   I think Linda has heard or read most if not all of my stories, once again---bless her heart.

I suppose I could kick our friend to the curb and act as though she doesn't exist.  That would only solve the conversational side of my problem…what about the new essays?

Well, I've learned through suffering through other dry spells, that they'll probably return when they're ready to return…probably.

In the meantime, I'm writing about running out of stories…a clever old man...eh?