the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Shooting Star


On the night of July 4th, the birthday of our country, Sophia and I had a fight about cleaning the house.   Sophia’s new policy:  arguing is bad for her health, so if there is any conflict, we should go into separate rooms.  Since this disagreement was getting too intense, I left the house and sat inside my car.

It was nine o’clock and fireworks were just beginning at the Redondo Beach Pier.   I thought of driving down to the pier, but I was in too crabby a mood to celebrate.   I could hear the fireworks in the air.  I opened the car window and looked up to see if I catch a glimpse of the spectacle, but I couldn’t see a thing. 

Just then, a shooting star floated over my house.  OK, there is the possiblity that it was an errant piece of firecracker that some local kid set off, but I thought it was a shooting star.  As is the tradition, I made a wish.

“Being an adult is too complicated.  I wish things were simpler and easier.  I wish I was thirteen years old again.” 

I waited for a moment, then looked into the overhead mirror to see if I had transformed, changing in the way people do in countless Hollywood movies.  Sadly,  my same goofy face looked back at me, still unshaven.

So much for shooting stars.  Another myth to add to Snopes.

I was going to close my eyes and take a nap, when I heard a rustling in the back seat.  It freaked me out.  My first thought that it was some drunk sleeping, or worse — an angry pigeon who flew in through the window. 

But it was a boy who sat up.  The boy was about thirteen years of age.  The boy was ME.

“Where am I?” asked the young Neil.

“Holy crap!” I said, in shock.  I looked out the window and rose my fist to the sky.  “You f***ing stupid shooting star!  You were supposed to make ME thirteen years old again, not bring back the younger ME!”

“Who are you?” asked my younger version.

“I’m YOU, only as an adult.”

“You’re ME?” he screamed.   “What the hell… do you mean in the future, I end up living IN A CAR?”

“No… no… no… in the future you end up marrying a very beautiful woman.”

“Really?  Like Phoebe Cates beautiful?”

“Yes, but there are some problems.  You see… we had a fight tonight, so I decided to come into…”

“You mean you DO live in car?”

“Uh, yes.”

Young Neil pouted like a child, but only for a few moments, then he quickly overcame the hurt with a confidence that I hadn’t seen in myself for years.

“Forget her.  Just move into your penthouse on Central Park West… the one we always planned on.  I’m sure with your salary as a world renowned magician and astronaut…”

“Well, things didn’t happen EXACTLY the way we planned.”

“You mean…”

“Yes, we’re living in the car.”

Little Neil started to cry.  It was very painful to watch.  I hate disappointing people.  I hate to upset other bloggers.  I get depressed when I falter in the eyes of Sophia.  But there is nothing worse than letting down your OWN thirteen year old self.  I had to tell  him something positive about his future, something hopeful that he could hold on to…

“Cheer up, Neil.   Your penis is going to grow a lot bigger.”

“Really?” said the newly joyous young boy.  “How big?”


  1. sizzle

    yeah… how big?! 😉

    i hope you and sophia were able to mend fences.

  2. RD

    Did you tell him it was going to turn into the most talkative, self-inflated penis on the planet?

  3. plain jane

    I’m sobbing in my cereal bowl…

  4. Long Story Longer

    You didn’t let him down, you just gave him an object lesson about being human. He’ll be ok.

    Besides, he’s the CUTEST little 13yo I’ve EVER seen. The picture! The picture! The hair! The ears! The BOW TIE! It’s too cute.

  5. Not Fainthearted

    uh huh.

    Too bad your penis can’t remember that the fastest way to get into a woman’s uh, ya know, is through a clean house.

    just saying.

  6. psychomom

    Sophia asked me to ask you if you are going to do the dishes, even though it is not your turn?
    Check one.
    Yes dear_____
    No Fucking way_____

  7. Heather B.

    Wait, you are embarrassed about this post?? It’s fantastic. It really, really is, Neil. Good job.

  8. Mrs Mogul

    HAHA!! Don’t be embarrassed about it. I once dated a guy (I nicknamed him LOG MAN) and he must have prayed three times to a shooting star in one night cause whoa! I didn’t let Log Man near me after three dates!

  9. V-Grrrl

    It seems everyone I know is fighting to the death with their spouses over housework. Whatever happened to ruining our marriages by having affairs? Bickering about who cleaned the kitchen last is so freakin boring. Let’s go out in a blaze of tawdry!

  10. churlita

    Maybe you should have showed him a picture of Sophia in the red bra dress and that would have cheered him up

  11. LVGurl

    “Like Phoebe Cates beautiful?” That girl raised the bar WAY too high.

    Was 13-year-old Neil wearing the bow tie and a smirk? Is he still in your car?

  12. Geeky Tai-Tai

    I love this post!

  13. Two Roads

    I had that same argument the other night with myself – who’s going to clean up this place. I lost….. 🙁

  14. justrun

    Oh this is funny! If only all 13 year old boys could get such reassurance. Or all 30 year-old boys, for that matter. 🙂

  15. Richard

    Great writing, but…

    Um… You are arguing with Sophia over housework? I must have my blogs confused, but didn’t she just have 2 or 3 surgeries in the last couple of months? …and aren’t we all supposed to cheer her up and make her feel better? Speaking of which – where did that PO Box vanished, that you used to have posted on your site?

  16. Bre

    Did you tell him that eventually women across the US would know your name?

  17. Amy K

    So, uh, do you still wear pink shirts?

  18. MammaLoves

    I love it!!! That was wonderful.

    Sorry you missed the fireworks–they’re my favorite. Hope you didn’t have to sleep in the car.

  19. Patois

    But what was the baseline for him? I mean, “a lot bigger” could all be relative, right? Now, I’ve trust you have apologized and have been cleaning the toilets like a good lad.

  20. Catheroo

    Seriously! How big?
    Don’t leave us…uh…hanging.
    Nice story, by the way.

  21. Neil

    Patois — How do you know it wasn’t about me asking HER to clean the toilet for a change?

    Richard — Good point. Thanks for making me feel guilty.

  22. better safe than sorry

    fireworks from fighting over cleaning the house? write up a schedule over who does what and stick to it. take it from someone “this close” to 50, life’s too short.

  23. kerrianne

    You are funny, sir. (I’m nothing if not great at stating the obvious). And BlogHim? Pretty rad. The chest hair is an awesome touch.

  24. helen

    Yeah, I too second the first commentator. How big? In inches please, I’m old school and the metric system ain’t for me. 😛

  25. Karl

    Way to lend some hope, Neil. Now your younger self has something to really look forward to.

  26. princess extraordinaire

    It always comes down to the penis…

  27. brettdl

    Next time, send the younger you into the house. Sophia will see how cute you are and call you back in.

  28. Finn

    Here’s my new domestic policy… if you’re gonna fight, fight naked. Because who can fight naked?

    Try it.

  29. gorillabuns

    yes, house cleaning fights are in the air… at least you could always try this tactic, “i hate you right now but can’t we just go have some angry make-up sex right now?”

    i’m not saying i’ve used this line in the past week….

  30. Eileen

    Plus little Neil eventually grows into his ears and that has to be a good thing. More people are likely to see the ears after all. just sayin

  31. mrsatroxi

    You still have the same haircut.

    Please don’t hit me.


  32. ElizaF

    It is a good job you only got as far as talking about women and willies with him. Imagine the fun you would have had trying to explain blogging…..

  33. Bec

    Oh-ho that would freak me out… 13 year old me was so annoyng… oh, wait nothing’s changed… 🙂

    Hang on – you’re not a magician?

  34. Tuck

    So, what other nuggets of wisdom would you tell your 13 year old self? After all, now that you’ve been there/done that.

  35. Dagny

    Uh oh. I just got a vision of 13-year-old me. She had feathered hair and would change clothes as soon as she got out of the house (tight jeans and platform shoes) and way too much makeup. Hmmm. Sounds like me today but the makeup is much more toned down and the hair is no longer feathered. Maybe I’m still 13.

  36. teahouseblossom

    What a cutie you were as a 13 year old!

    Did you try to explain the concept of the internet and blogs to him? Did you tell him it’s been over twenty years but Transformers is still the biggest movie at the box office?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial