Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA


Published in Strays.

“Imaginary flirtations with the second amazing waitress of the day float through my mind as we drive home for the night, a bleak country-sized horizon lit up by the high-beams. I feel lucky.” Memory of writing down those words has left me, but the vision of those high-beams has stuck, us driving away from the city, back through the nothingness, feeling a just-slightly-buzzed hum run through me. Several months later, in recapping my notes from the trip, I wrote “The goal now is to stop imagining and keep committing until the person in the mirror matches the person I want to see looking back at me.” However faded it might be in certain spots, there’s a line that’s been drawn through each of these plot points, that continues on through today. There are so many memories I want to hold on to, telling myself that maybe they can become useful in relating to someone else. Maybe those photos, those notes, or those ideas will reflect upon me in a way that building something new can’t. The risk of letting go is made to feel so much more imposing by the fear of having to try something new. What’s the real value of these artifacts if they don’t help move the needle?