A Story by Dante Carlisle

A one-word writing prompt from a blog I follow. Figured I'd actually get back into writing short stories and essays again while popping through my novels.



There are those moments in our lives when we find something we've been searching for, but always running from. They are the moments that terrify us. Time freezes, and every detail is stuck in your mind for the rest of your life. These are memories that will live with you until the day you die. When thirty years down the road you look back and relive an experience with the clarity of an Imax Theater.

What happens when you realize those moments are upon you, though? Do we really see them for what they are while we live through them?

Unfortunately, it's rare for us to see them. Even after the fact, most of us fail to truly see the memory for how it shapes us. Because we don't want to understand the pain or the joy that we feel. The deeper we feel emotion in any given instant is the deeper we can experience those emotions for the rest of our lives. But, you also have a choice to make, because if you experience too much pain, or too much joy and then lose it, we often turn off. We shut down our emotions for how terrifying they are.

This is a mistake that is all too easy to fall into. The majority of us put ourselves in this trap without ever realizing what it is we've done.

We turned off life. We stop living. Because we take ourselves away from being able to experience the world. For all it's misery and pain, the world is still full of joy and happiness. For every ounce of pain you feel, you felt that much joy once. But remembering that joy is so difficult when the pain that follows it matches it so exactly.

Learning to turn life back on, to experience something all over again, is one of the hardest things I'll ever do. But damnit I'm going to do it. I refuse to spend my days envious of those who haven't felt the pain I have. I refuse to live a life that keeps me from experiencing happiness.

When I was very young I believed we were all here for one purpose: To be happy. Somehow over the years I've gotten away from that. Instead I trudge along day after day and expect life to come back to me. But life never left me, I'm hiding from it. I've learned to live without ever taking a breath. I've learned to live without smiling.

I'm working to find my smile again. I'm working to recognize those moments that life happens. Because I can't stand the thought of looking back years from now and finding that I let life pass me by.

I understand the risk of what I'm saying. I understand the dangers, and the pain that I'm opening myself up to. I understand how bad this can go, and how much I can hurt. But I also understand I much I can love. And how much I can smile. And finally, I'm remembering what happiness can feel like.

I've felt enough pain to bring anyone to their knees. I've experienced things I can't begin to describe because my experiences were unique. But, I also remember the reasons so many of those things were valuable enough for them to hurt. I recall the happiness. I recall the smiles, and I recall joy.

That pain I felt makes me almost giddy. Because if the depth of my pain is what determines the heights of happiness I can reach, I may just float away. I look forward to trying.

Finally, I'm waking up, and I wake up ready to find a reason to smile, again.

© 2018 Dante Carlisle

Author's Note

Dante Carlisle
Not sure how to say to review this. Just a random piece I felt like getting out. Needed to put more on here so here we are.

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Added on January 2, 2018
Last Updated on January 2, 2018


Dante Carlisle
Dante Carlisle

Chesterfield, MO

I published my third novel last Christmas. Working on the fourth, but fair warning none of them are connected. So if you're looking for a stand alone novel to read, check out Regret Nothing, Hiding Bl.. more..