The People Who Choose To Love Me

The People Who Choose To Love Me
This is my family. Watermark and all.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Death Of A Talesman- Guest Blogger Danny Minnesota

…Not that I’ve ever finished a single book I’ve started, or a poem I’ve started or a script I’ve started. But I’ve started. And the point is, I'm an idiot...

And this is a story about that.

I’m sitting in my home office at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday. My four year old is in the other room asking her mother for yet another plate of cheese and I’m dreading the inevitable constipation coming her way. My seven year old will be trotting off the bus from school shortly and then the house will become chaos.

So I have about twenty minutes to make progress on my story. I’ve been working on it for about two years now. The characters are all robust, complex beings with history and depth and a true sense of self. The main character, Dillion is a smarter, wittier and more handsome version of the man I wish I had become. 'Sadly I’m just me,' I think, as I stare at the screen. The words jump out at me. “This is good stuff” I think to myself.

“Momma!” I hear from the other room. “MORE CHEESE!” “Momma?!?”

“Honey?” I yell. No answer. She must be upstairs. I go get the kid some cheese and settle back down at my desk. The chair squeaks. I rub my eyes. Okay. What happens next? I reference my notes. Ah yes. The first attempt! I’ve been waiting to write this chapter for a very long time. I start writing.

“Dillion finds himself alone at last. The vast expanse of black marble reflects his angst as he steps slowly onto the platform. He rests one hand on the time machine he built and…

“Babe?” I jolt in terror as the wife appears out of the ether and rests her hand on my shoulder. “Tacos tonight? Or do you wanna grill?”

I shake my head and nod at the screen. “I’m in the middle of something. Ask me later.”

“I just wanna know if you want tacos or…”

“Tacos.” I say curtly. She leaves in a huff. I focus. I re-read my last sentence. Right. The Time Machine. I reference my notes. Back to the screen. I rub my eyes. A sip of coffee. Here we go.

“He enters cautiously. His thoughts take him back to that terror-filled day. When everything he had was taken from him. He reaches out his hand and…”


Oh dear GOD! I turn and there is the four year old. “Mommy says I can’t have any more cheese.”

“Well,” I say. “Then you can’t have any more cheese. Sweetheart, I’m working. I need a half hour. Can you give me that? Even just twenty minutes okay, Love-bug?”

Back to the screen and another half-sentence later and my seven year old trots into the office and sits down next to me. “Hey, Dad!”

I take off my glasses and turn to give her a big hug. “Hey, Kiddo. How was school?”

She shrugs me off and points and the screen. “Is that your job?”

“I’m working on a book, Hon. Remember? My book?” I’ve told her about it a hundred times.

“What’s it about?” she asks while picking fingernail polish off her thumb.

“It’s a grown-up story,” I tell her. “I need like ten minutes okay? I’ll be out in ten minutes.”

“Tellll meeeeeeeeeee what it’s aboouuuuuuutttt,” she whines.

I look at the clock and relent. If it will get me five minutes alone I’ll just tell her the story.

I swivel my chair toward her and lean on my knees. “It’s a story about a very sad man.”

“What’s his name?!?”

“I’ll tell you. Just listen. His name is Dillon. And Dillion fell in love with a very beautiful girl named Rhonda.”

“What color is her hair?”

“Brown. Now shhhhhh. Dillion and Rhonda like doing out-doorsy-type stuff and one day they are rafting out on the water. And there is an accident. And her raft tips over and Rhonda drowns.”

“Oh my gosh!”

“Right?!? So anyway, this makes Dillion, very sad, sweetheart. And he never quite gets over her. And nothing in the world can make him smile or laugh. Jokes aren’t even funny at all! So he decides that if he can travel back in time he can take jokes from NOW and tell those jokes way back THEN, and that would cause people all over the world to get funnier and funnier and funnier and by the time he returns back to NOW things will be very comical and can make him smile finally. Because all he really wants is to be happy.”

She looks to the ceiling and says “I don’t get it.”

I reply “I told you. It’s a grown-up story.”

“No,” she says leaning onto her knees. “I mean I don’t get it. Why is he time traveling to make things funnier?”

“Well because he’s so sad all the time,” I tell her. “He wants things to make him smile again.”

“But Dad. Why doesn’t he just go back in time and not have his girlfriend die?” She looks at me like I am a science experiment.

And in that moment I lean back into my chair realizing that I am quite possibly the single stupidest person ever to live. My story makes zero sense. None. And I’ve been working on it for two years. I have three time periods fleshed out for Dillion to try to “make funnier.” There are three love stories, bombs exploding, milestones in American and world history. Nazis even!

All because I wasn’t using my brain. He would just go back and save the girl! I am such an idiot.

I take my notes in my hand and toss them into the garbage. I kiss my seven year old on the top of the head and get up from my chair.

And with that she trots after me toward the kitchen as I ask, “Want some cheese?”

 Danny is the father of two delightful and insane Frozen princesses. He spends his time in Minnesota working in e-commerce, shoveling snow, and constantly cleaning up all things pink. He has four wives, one fish  one wife, four fish, and a job. He dressed as Marty McFly for Halloween. His real passion is writing and dreaming of some day performing his music in front of screaming female fans.


  1. Gawd this was funny! I was good to be all prosaic and say things like "Good for you for starting books, poems, and scripts" and "At least you started," and "It's great you don't give up." But seriously this post was so fantastic, well written, and entertaining, I'm telling you, for real, keep going. I feel like I know you and your family already.

  2. Part of me had the same question as the seven-year old but a much larger part of me just doesn't care and still wants to read this story.

  3. How come kids can only use logic against us and not the other way round?

  4. How come kids can only use logic against us and not the other way round?