Thanks to everyone who came out last Thursday and helped us have such a great night. I was exhausted after getting back from a trip to NYC a few days earlier but hearing those stories and seeing the reaction they got gave me everything I needed that night.

I’m always surprised at what I learn about people I thought I knew at FGS. Chris started off the night with a great story about ambushing her big brother by jumping out of the shadows and latching onto his neck with her teeth like a giant tick. Is this the sweet, kind Chris that I’ve known all these years? Did she really have it in her, at the age of five, to chomp down on her brother’s neck in a fit of righteous fury? Yes. Yes, she did. Who knows, maybe she still does. All I know is that if she ever asks me for the comics section in the newspaper I’m going to give it to her right away.

Ty, one of our first-timers, told a beautiful story of how he managed to turn his life around. There’s a part in his story that I really loved. He said, “I’m not a carrot guy. I’m a stick guy. I respond better to pain.” Naturally, the universe provided and he got the pain he needed to change. Thanks for being so honest, Ty. It’s good to hear a story where the big epiphany wasn’t enough to get someone to turn their life around. Sometimes we need to hear how someone got slammed down a few more times before he decided to walk another path.

Afifi, another first-timer, talked about the journey from her birth country in Lebanon, to the UK and finally to America. I’ve been asking Afifi to come to FGS for a long time and I’m glad she finally made it. Not only does she have a wealth of stories in her but she could also tell them in Persian if we ever ask her to. I love hearing stories from people who learned English as an adult. It reminds me of how much closer we would all be if we learned a language our neighbors speak at home. When I was 17, a Vietnamese family took me in when I didn’t have a place to live. I regret not trying to learn at least a little of that language. Hearing my friend Hai and his mom speak in those beautiful melodies made me want to find a way to use my English in a way that was more musical and rhythmic. There is always a point in every story I tell where I try to make a word or phrase feel like a song. I know the first time I heard anyone speak that way was over dinner at Hai’s house.

I’m already late getting this wrap-up out which means I’m also late getting the new invitation out. So I’ll end this here and thank all the tellers who shared a story: Chris, Ty, Lance, David S, Afifi, Jessica, Sarah, Carl, Brad, David T, and Bill.

Our next show is Thursday, Feb 21. The theme is “Left Turn – Stories of life going sideways.” Look for the invitation in your email in the next day or two.

Take care everyone. See you in a few weeks 🙂