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An excerpt from Will We All Still See Each Other Afterward 🪞 Tyler Dempsey

Ten minutes late to the Visitor Center. Everyone’s by the flag pole. 

Each year we do a scenario. 

Break into groups. Pretending to be something. One group, stupid tourists. Another, Rangers. The last, moose. 

This year they’ve split the whole staff. So, I blend in opposite L—.

Laura walks up. She has twins in daycare. I’ve wiped shit off her daughter’s vagina. 

She’s crying.  

She bear hugs me. Strong. It feels good. 

Catch L— giving a horrible look as I bury my face in Laura’s shoulder.

She pats the back of my head, saying shhhhhhh.

Everyone’s looking. James approaches with a face like oh shit. 

“Ughh, Tyler. What group you wanna be in?”

I’m tired. 



“I’ll be a moose.” 

Mouth thank you to Laura, joining my brethren. Isolate myself. Start eating branches. Or, pretending to.

Now I just have to murderously charge tourists if they get close. 

Piece of cake. 

After each tourist is stomped five or six times and every Ranger nearly dies of stress, we open the Visitor Center.

Bringing the money for the register I’m relieved to see Nicole helping a couple in hoodies that say ALASKA.

Wait for them to leave then walk out. 

“Thank Gawd it’s you.”

“Thank God it’s you. I was afraid it’d be L—.”

“Dude, was gonna ask how you’re doing. But,” she looks right, then left, “you look like you just had sex.”

Give Richard Nixon peace signs. “I did not, have, relations, with that woman.”

“No way, good for you! Who’s the gal?”

“You can’t tell. Even your wife.”

Draws an invisible cross on her heart with a finger. Zipping her mouth shut with the other hand. 

“Okay. Katie.”

“Niiiiice! How’d that happen?”

“Dunno. We got drunk one night. I stayed over and we decided to cuddle. Annnd somehow ended up naked, spooning. And she put my hand on her boob and started doing that thing with her hips.” 

“How ARE her boobs?”


A guy leans halfway over the table, listening. In a hoodie that says ALASKA.

“Can I help you?” 

“Yea you can.” That flirty voice, where you know he’s a douchebag. “Where are your restrooms?”

She points, “Around the corner.” 

“There?” Motions with a hand.

“No, the parking lot. They’re port-a-potties.”

“Idiot,” she says while he’s still in earshot. “Dude, that’s incredible. Know who thinks it isn’t?”


“Abby.” She laughs. “Sorry, had to act shocked when you told me. But I knew. She gave me a ride from Savage yesterday and told me allllll about it. She hates you.”

“Fucking Christ.”

An Indian family of five, wearing masks except the daughter who’s eating something from a to-go container resembling lentils shit onto rice, approaches.

App like Shazam but food.

“Ve vere vondering. Vhere is De-nali?”

“Hundred and forty kilometers that way.” They look at the side of the building where I point. “You couldn’t see it from here. Unless you were in a plane.”


Tough crowd.

“Could you explain vhat exactly there is to do here?”

Thirty minutes later they walk away. 

Tell Nicole I’m going on break.

Katie G: Want to kick it tonight? Still horny…

Want to. But was planning on going home and getting some writing done after I walk Boopers. Also, just to continue collecting my thoughts around baby Briar. But, let me think more 😍

Katie G: 😘 sure thing. 

In the break room. Drinking instant coffee. Eating a tortilla I folded twice.

L— walks in. Gets into her locker. Realizing it’s me, she freezes. 

“Hi L—.”

“Hey Tyler.”

Reach behind, into my locker. Toss a plastic bag with her belongings on the table. “Here’s your stuff.”

She comes and sits. Staring at the table. She takes a long, slow breath.

“How are you?”

“Good.” I smile, so tired my vision traces like I’ve dropped acid.  

“How could you?”

“Ugh? You mean, with Katie?”

“She was my best friend.” Forehead drops on the tops of her hands. She starts convulsing. Sucking air. Producing noises like a dying animal.

James walks in, again with an oh shit face. 

“Tyler, Nicole rang upstairs, she needs help at the desk.”

Stand like I’m spring-loaded. “Okay.” Whisp my shitty coffee out the door. 

A family’s leaving. Otherwise, it’s deserted. Make a V with my eyebrows.

“Went to get a drink and saw L— on her way in. I called James.”

“I fucking love you.”

Frames her chin with the backs of her hands, makes kissy lips, looking up.

“Can we go inside?” A woman with gobbed mascara and a bleached perm asks while her husband practices being invisible beside her.

Nicole rolls her eyes, spinning on her heels, “No. It’s closed.”


“Ughh? Covid?”

“Fucking hell. This whole trip’s been one thing after another. We’re from Texas.”

Raises her arms in a W, shrugging.

“Come on honey.” Grabs his wrist. He winces.

Katie G: I had to go home at lunch because I was thinking of you fucking me and ruined my panties. Been thinking, I must give WAP a whole new meaning for you.

Oh my god. It’s driving me insane (it was hard typing this coherently) thinking about it. If I don’t commit tonight, expect me tomorrow.

Katie G: Hrmm…bonfire in ccamp tomorrow night. 

Nicole smiles. “You only live once dude.”

Pause five seconds.

C u tonight.

🫎 Tyler Dempsey is the author of four books and hosts Another Fucking Writing Podcast. He lives in Utah with his dog. You can buy and read the rest of Will We All Still See Each Other Afterward here.


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