Stefan Slater has been down in the dungeons, probably something to do with social distancing – but he has come up with this little gem. This is what he said:
Well here we are at Week 279.
Whenever I see the number seventy nine it makes me think of my first address that I remember as a kid. From there I realise that I can also remember our first phone number.
Firsts are good to bring to the forefront every now and again and I’m sure that many a first has inspired a story. (Or maybe an arrest.)
Why do Southerners romanticize dreck? They positively gush over everything in sight, including the weeds covering the telephone poles along the highway. Kudzu, an invasive weed, is treated like gorse. Southerners are proud of it, like everything else. Kudzu is nothing to be proud of, but Peter Taylor is. Light in August is something to get excited about. Tennessee Williams knew a thing or two, but is he invited to the Liberty Bowl? What of Eudora Welty?
The end of the world wasn’t so bad. It began with an argument between some self-important people who had a bit too much responsibility. It escalated. The end of the world was loud and hot and bright. Most people dried almost instantly to a pink Himilyan salt, their crystals scattered to the wind. Some took longer, their skin blackened like the crust of a wood fired pizza. Still, some survived, parts of their limbs and flesh melted like a mild gruyere cheese. No, all this was not so bad. It was the lack of good food.
When Kurt Cobain died, Susan didn’t leave her bedroom for four days straight. She closed her door on that Saturday morning and stayed put until I went over and saw her on the Tuesday afternoon. She never joined the groups that gathered at our college when the following week broke; the circles of teenagers who grimly shuffled in the canteen and classrooms, who shrugged and sighed and slowly shook their heads. It was, I suppose, our defining moment. Naturally, none of us realised it at the time. As a generation we had no Great War or Woodstock, social media was science fiction and everyone’s parents had jobs. We were fortunate enough to be insulated from existence. It took a dead rock star to communalise our experience, to sharpen our senses, to force us to cower as the world fired its first warning shot. A snatched photograph of an outstretched leg with a limp Converse training shoe was the image that blew our adolescent minds. This was when the penny dropped that shit had finally got real.
“Yesterday, upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away!”
–William Hughes Mearns, “Antigonish”
I will tell you at the outset that I have seen some puzzling and imponderable events or situations in my life. That life is now well into its ninth decade. Some of the circumstances were believable, some not; some I wanted to believe, some I didn’t. All of them, each instance, whether believable or not, had been caused or created or somehow set into motion by the attitude or action of generally distinctive and memorable men and women, whether for what they were or what they did, or, in some circumstances, what they did not do. Believe me, the chance of something not happening is oftentimes as much a story as that which happens. My wife Agnes was a woman such as I have spoken, and old acquaintance Tylen Brackus was such a man. As Agnes did things at her own swift command, Tylen also did things; he moved things at appropriate rate, though he was born into this life with but one fully useful arm, the other a mere shaft with a mere hand. His deformity was, as one might say of him, in miniature.
Leila has been down into the depths of LS towers again and rooted out a story by Editor and author Hugh Cron – I love it when that happens. This is what she said.
Here we are at week 278.
Father’s Day came and went. I miss out on this. Maybe there should be a ‘Thank Fuck You Are Not Polluting The World With Your Offspring Day’ That could be for all the unselfish souls who’ll deal with their own pish when they get dribbley.
Jacob Mundy glanced at the ominous cumulonimbus clouds boiling overhead. He clutched the sack of groceries to his chest and hurried down the sidewalk toward his home, trying to beat the coming storm. It wasn’t the rain he feared; it was the lightning that came with the storm. Jacob knew if he were caught outside he would be struck dead by a bolt of lightning, fried in his tracks, his groceries, sodden and disintegrating from the rain, scattered like so much litter next to his charred and twisted body. This vision terrified Jacob. He leaned forward and increased his pace. “Oh, God, oh, God, I’m going to get zapped,” he whimpered and walked faster.