It started with a fire.
Summer of 2018.
Everything that was left could fit in the back of my car; a few outfits, a guitar, and some of the readings from my bookshelf that managed to evade the flames.
From there, I remember driving to the water, tuning my guitar, and playing until my fingers bled.
No. That’s not right.
I drove to Madi’s.
Yeah. That’s it. Let’s not change the story now, Micah. Not after you’ve spent so long perfecting it so that you can tell it at parties.
I was sitting there looking at the smoke as it continued to rise out of the windows, next to my old theatre teacher (who became a life-long friend and mentor), Minda.
She was the one I’d called when everything went to shit.
Well, actually, she called me.
Just to check-in, and see what was going on in my life.
So I told her what was going on.
And she was there, before I really came around to what was going on.
Then I called Madi.
That’s how it went.
I called Madi, and with Minda coaching me through it, reminding me to breathe, told her the colors of the fire-fighters. And how one of them was rude to me as I stood there in only my boxers, spraying through my bedroom window with only a garden-hose.
She and her family took me in, and let me use their washer and dryer for my clothes that reeked of smoke.
I felt bad that I was taking their space. So I washed all of their dishes and made Madi breakfast the next morning. When her parents were off to work.
We sat out on her second-floor balcony, looking out to the water.
I had almost forgotten about the fire by then.
Peyton came over that afternoon. He and Madi were dating at that point? Or maybe about to be dating. Katie came over too. Maybe Shelby was there?
It was right before we got deep into filming Perk Up!, the comedy show that we made a season of the same summer.
Twelve episodes of stress that I look at with pure fondness. Even though it almost ruined my friendships with everyone involved.
Fire to golden laughter.
Tragedy and comedy.
My brand lives on.