30 for 30: Day 21


Baby’s comin’ home tomorrow. Ain’t that news? Man, ain’t that news? Today’s 3F3 is from the day my life shifted into high gear and never slowed down. It’s not every day that your dreams come true, so I’m glad Dom had multiple cameras going when she gave me this news. I remember…

The year is 2016. I’m 36 years old.

It was a rather busy Thursday at work. Nothing too crazy, but I remember getting in the car and daydreaming about the couch at home. All I wanted to do was get home, pour myself a drink, and take the rest of the day off.

Hey, I had a really stressful day at work. Can I have some time alone in the house?

The text from Dom flashed across my phone as I was pulling into the neighborhood, so instead of turning onto my street, I kept going straight and headed back out. I was tired, and though I really wanted to give Dom some quiet time, I couldn’t do it without swallowing some bitterness. How was I supposed to kill an hour?

So I went bowling. It was the kind of bowling alley where they bring you alcohol, so I appreciated that. I bowled a few games, checked in with Dom, and got the all clear. I headed home. Finally, I would get to relax…

We need to make our Christmas invite video.

Ugh. Though I was super jazzed about hosting Christmas that year, I wasn’t really in the mood to be recording videos. I was tired, frustrated, and snappy, but Dom really wanted to make the video.

She insisted.

So fine. She set up the cameras, I put on a Santa hat, and we started shooting our video invite to our families. Watching the video, you can really hear the f-all-this-nonsense tone in my voice. I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel, and it’s making me short and sarcastic. But we press on.

For some reason, our video invitation includes a demonstration of how White Elephant works. I’m too checked out to question that. We get to the part of the video where we demonstrate how to open gifts (what?)…

Dom opens hers: a ceramic white elephant.

I open mine: a photo–four of them, actually.

Each photo shows Cheyenne and Jetson sitting next to little chalkboards.

I read each one somewhat flippantly… but then it finally, finally hits.

Dom had not had a stressful day at work. That was a deception, or in the common tongue, a lie. She didn’t need some quiet time in the house, she just needed time to stage the photos and put everything together. And the bit about recording the invite was just to get me to open the present containing the photos.

It was all a WEB OF LIES!

I can’t begin to describe the emotional swing that occurred in that moment. That would require a poet or at the very least, a competent fiction writer. All I can say is that it was the happiest moment of my life up until that point.

Just nine months prior, I had proposed to Dom, and that had been the happiest moment of my life so far. Nine months from this day, there would be a new reigning moment.

So as I said previously, life was accelerating. And though things were changing so quickly, it was easy to stay optimistic. After all, I was waking up every day and asking what new and wonderful thing will happen today?

That’s not an easy thing for a card-carrying nihilist. But sometimes you can’t ignore the evidence.

Sometimes you just have to be happy.

About the author

Daniel Verastiqui

Daniel Verastiqui is a Science Fiction author from Austin, Texas. His novels explore relationships and identity in the context of ubiquitous technology, pervasive violence, and frequent nudity. His most recent book, Brigham Plaza, is now available in print and digital formats on Amazon.

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photo of Daniel Verastiqui and his writing partner Jetson


I'm Daniel Verastiqui.

This is my blog.

I'm a Science Fiction author, so I mostly post about my experiences with writing, publishing, marketing, and self-loathing.

Be sure to check out my books at Amazon!

Here are some of my latest posts

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