A Story == I’m Somebody

We are nobody without a story. 

Ask the panhandler I passed this morning. He held a sign that said: “Iraqi Vet. Clean. Sober. Going home. Need bus fare.” He’d staged his story with a Santa hat and a backpack.  

Also applies to things. 

Often the only difference between an antique and a piece of junk is “provenance,” a fancy word for the same information the panhandler had on his sign—a story, a history. Besides hoping I’d open my wallet, I suspect the panhandler was making sure I didn’t mistake him for junk. He wanted me to believe that he’d fought and struggled and lived to tell the tale. Now he was going home, if I could spare a little change. 

1955 Good Food/Better Stories

1955 Good Food/Better Stories

I wasn’t buying his story, but it did make me wonder what five lines I would put on a piece of cardboard if I wanted someone to help me go home?  

I’m not going to make it this year. Won’t miss the food. Will miss the stories.



Filed under Family Stories

3 responses to “A Story == I’m Somebody

  1. Lisa Ray Turner

    I’m intrigued by your last two lines: “Won’t miss the food. Will miss the stories.” I understand missing the story. But not missing the food? Is the food bad at your family holiday dinners? Aunt Hilda’s lumpy mashed potatoes? The family vegan’s soy turkey? Sometimes these things are the story. 🙂

  2. Oh, you’re so right. There are stories upon stories and even the food is often a story. In this case, food isn’t bad (although the family turkey stuffing is loved only by us–others call it glue), it’s just that the stories last longer, don’t add to the hips, and often take on a life of their own.

  3. I love the idea of writing five lines to ask for help. I’ll think about what mine would be.
    Thanks for the post about story and how vital it is to all of us.

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