Travis Learns A New Word

Travis Lundquist’s life had pretty much been about the word ‘No’.

“Travis, a bunch of us are going to the quarry to drink Friday after school. Want to come?” No, thank you. “Travis, some of the guys are going to the new nudey bar downtown. Care to join us?” No, I’m good. “Travis, I think I may have found the greatest pot dealer this town has ever seen. Want me to hook you up?” No, drugs aren’t my thing.

Over the years, Travis has also said no to shoplifting when he was eleven, Spring Break in Florida while he was in college, cheating on exams, backpacking across Europe for a year before settling into a career, dating loose women, paying crazy prices for baseball playoff tickets, playing poker with the boys, and everything else that reeked of fun.

Travis was raised to believe that those who played by the rules, who chose duty over personal pleasure, and who rejected risque behavior in favour of a goody two-shoes existence would come out on top in the long run. Travis had been mislead.

Twenty years into his career, Travis made between ten and twenty thousand dollars less than the people whose mistakes he was paid to clean up made. The bigger their mistakes, the bigger they were rewarded because, as Travis had started to realize, those who were willing to risk messing up every now and then in the hopes of one day seeing a big pay off were the ones management liked.

Ten years of marriage to the squeaky clean girl next door hadn’t brought him any of the joy his pastor growing up told him it would bring him. Saving every spare dime for his kids’ education hadn’t made them like him any more either.

All around him he saw other people having a blast, living life instead of merely surviving it, and waking each morning wondering what new adventure awaited them that day. All because they allowed themselves to ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’.

“As of today, I’m going to start saying ‘yes’,” Travis said to himself after fixing someone’s erroneously entered order in the computer.

“Hey Travis, some of us are thinking of taking Mark to Las Vegas for his bachelor party. Do you want to take along?” one of his fun loving colleagues asked.

“Hell yes!” Travis said.

He had no idea what a trip to Las Vegas might lead to, but he was sure it had to be better than the repressed life he had been living.

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