Here’s Rob McRay’s understory from August 2019’s theme “I Was Never the Same Again.”

Tonight, Nashville, we were forever changed.

Evil witches warned us of green thumbs and buck teeth. But we didn’t heed the warnings…till the self-inflicted horror shocked us into a new life that doesn’t suck.

We expected by 21 to be a dead award-winner with no ambition, till an open mike 72 - I Was Never the Same Againturned Kansas into Oz…and sleeping in Target parking lots.

We left the empty apartment for a 5-day trip up the coast. We hid an axe in the trunk, jumped off waterfalls, shared our insomnia, encountered a rocking horse, and talked under countless stars. And we learned the joy of spontaneity.

Our finger ran across the graph, and we answered the flood of questions, till it all crashed in on our head. But he rode without words, and the kids had his back, and he aced the test, and but we missed the picture. And we celebrated our stinkeroo butterfly.

She was 104, but the Redskins were playing. She walked with command and spoke of pride, and a room of Georges, and snitching on sitters, and the birth of a union. And we learned when to call.

We were her guinea pigs and just wanted to socialize. But he wouldn’t call on us and sent us to an office interrogation, and we saw her cry. But the new director knew us—and gave us a new future.

An apology and flashbacks led us to know we couldn’t hide from what we were hiding. We learned it was our brain and not our worth. And something left our body that day.

We loved to sing the sweet lullaby, till haunting images, and gluttonous guilt, and the clanging chimes of doom forever changed the song we sing.

We had a driving force to create something with our name on it. We read at a Purim festival and were on the brink of “celebra-Steve.” But we were the opening act for the other one, and magically made our self-respect disappear.

But we were never the same again.

Our thanks to the tellers, as always—Steve, Malinda, Rob, Gennae, Beth, Cortney, Jackie, Molly, and Jane. Join us for our 6-year anniversary night on September 23 for stories that took place in our city. Pitch your story idea here. See you then!

73 - Nashville

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