It’s been a while, and it had occurred to me that I don’t have a tab here for my short fiction and that I should probably create one. The last story I published was called “West Side Highway.” It’s July now. I wrote that story in December. Looking back, it seems so long ago. This winter was a hazy period of inchoate emotions, and this was a story that I wrote to try to give sense and structure to a time that felt brutal and senseless. We had just lost an amazing young man very unexpectedly at the age of nineteen. He was an old friend of my daughter’s. Bright, funny, complex, and irreplaceable. I guess one of the ways I tried to cope was to write him into a story as his younger, middle-school-aged self. I mean, it’s fiction, of course. I’m not even sure what the meaning of the story is. I guess I felt it was a way of making him alive again, even if it was just through a representation. Kind of like one of those old Max Fleischer cartoons from the silent movie age. Where you see the artist’s hand drawing the character as it comes to life. Frame by frame, flickering, like a rotoscope. There’s a certain consolation that making art can give us when nothing else can be controlled. In that way, it’s almost a mystical act. Strange and mysterious even to the one creating it.
Anyway, you can read it here.