Three Acorns

One late summer afternoon – it must have been in the 1990s, I was still in high school – I sat on the riverbank looking out at the water. With me were a friend of mine and the girl of my dreams. She told a story, I forget it now, but I remember her next words: “Now you guys tell a story. Just anything, whatever comes to mind.”

My throat clamps shut. I hear my friend good-naturedly stringing words together, knowing I’m next. The moment comes, and I can’t even mouth one syllable. The sight of the river lying heavy in front of me, yellowish brown under the perpetually gray sky.

Why don’t I just say something, anything?

Why is it that to this day, whenever I’m asked to tell a story I go blank?