April 1st is for Haters

This morning I noticed that one of my all time best friends in the world sent me a text. I was driving Aral to school and so left the phone in the little slot on the console until I had a moment (after stopping of course) to read it.

It went like this:

Rat Bastard

So, I sighed … deeply, unbuckled Aral and took him into school. He was happy, and I was trying. Trying to brush this off, knowing that it was going to rub me raw all damn day long.

We went through the school check in routine and I sauntered back out to my car, not really certain if I was going to call him. I waited until my phone’s Bluetooth synced with my car and dialed his number.

“Hey man, it’s me. What didn’t you like about my story?” The direct approach is apparently what I had chosen.

“Oh man, where do I begin,” he replies.

“What do you mean, ‘where’? It’s a short story.”

It went back and forth like this until finally he couldn’t take it anymore. He broke up laughing, cackling in fact. I couldn’t help but join him and feel some measure of relief. In fact, I decided to hold onto that sensation. I really had been expecting the worst. All my self-conscious anxiety was wrapped up in this one story. The latest I’ve published and the loss of my friend’s good opinion of my writing is apparently tied to my self-worth.

Okay, you got me. You got me really good. Thanks for the lesson brother, you’re the only person I know who can teach while making me laugh.


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