Founding Feathers

“A lot of texts these days.”

“Yeah.  I was thinking.  What messages did we used to send that didn’t contain text?”

“Smoke signals.”

“Yes.  Can you imagine sending a smoke signal today?  From one end of a city to another?  From Minneapolis to St Paul?”

“There are a lot of places where it could still work.”

“Not in cities.”

“Certainly not.  But from one farm to another.  Along some trails.  In the desert.”

“What do you burn in a desert?”

“A desiccated cactus will bank a fire for days.”

“What about hieroglyphs?”

“Were they sent?”

“Through time.”

“That’s… a stretch.”

“They were composed by hand and contained or referred to a specific language.  How do we know they weren’t meant to convey information into the future?”

“I think they were pretty close to being text though.”

“How about Morse code?”

“Hmm—yes.  Only audible.  Not a text but...”

This short bit of fictional dialogue continues...

For The One Who Wouldn’t Come Out of His Shell

She noticed a stack of books by the door.  One she picked up, showed the cover to him.

“Were you getting rid of this?”

“I was planning on getting rid of most of them.  You can have it if you want it.”

“Maybe, I’ve never read him.  Would you say he’s good with relationships?”

“Oh, yeah.  He does a ton with relationships.  He’s the relationship master.”

“Interesting.  I think of Beattie as the relationship master.  Recycled love, mother stuff. But she could also leave me feeling worse about relationships.”

“What do you mean?”

“She can make you paranoid because a lot of relationships don’t make it through her stories.  Her characters have a tendency to leave their spouses.”


“What about him, though?   Better or worse after reading?”

“Not better.  He’s not therapeutic in that way.  I’d say I feel weirder after reading him.  Fanciful, if that’s possible?”

“Probably not.  But it’s better than feeling worse.  Say, while we’re on this subject—have you been doing any disco art?”

“I’ll show you what I’ve got.”

Creepy jazz music defected from the attic.  An old gramophone was playing new tunes. He was scrobbling to  They went up there.

“What are all these pieces?” she asked...  

Continue with this short story...

Moby Dick Prequel, Take One

"Ahab, why don't you answer the seventh question on the sheet?"


"You have the sheet in front of you, Ahab.  All of the students got one."

"Yes, mum."

"The seventh question.  Read it aloud please."

He picked up the sheet, pressed his feet together below the desk and cleared his throat.

"What is the purpose of white blood cells within the human body?"

They were waiting.  He looked out the window.  It was a hard, cold winter's day.  Wind blew snow into drifts.

"Snow is white," he said.

"Ahab," insisted his teacher.  "Let's focus on today's lesson.  Did you do your assigned reading last night?"

"No'm, I," he started.  "My father's ship did not come in last night.  He was going to tell me about what he found in the sea."

"Ahab, I'm sorry, but—"

"Clouds are white," he said, still looking out.  The sea, normally visible from their small schoolhouse near the coast, today was not. He continued, "Clouds are supposed to be white..."

Continue with Li'l Ahab

From, “The Adams/Fellini Tapes”

Snippet Seven

"But you're young and you only live one, right, Feder?"

"Well, I'm not sure I'm young anymore, Ansel."

"I thought you were always young, gay, accordion-spry."

"That's a bit of an act. That's what I do—or, what I see others do, who know how to do it well."

"Do you think about running out of time?"

"I do."

"That surprises me."

"I don't see why it should."

"Because you're happy! You smile, you... emote."

"I am as old as my father was when he died."

There was a silence. A comfortable, firm silence. Ansel wondered whether to let the silence pertain. Yet he felt inclined, called to continue. The tone, he knew, would not quite be his.

"And how do you feel about that, Feder?"

"When I wake tomorrow, my friend, I will send you a text, to let you know."

Art at 8:30

The baseball game

Hello? Yeah, so, ah, Rafe came over and we watched some baseball. Eleven to eighteen? No, that was the score, but…you have to say the, ah, the highest score first.

The Loop

No, that’s all right… ha-ha… Yeah, I, I like stockpiling those things. What about the Loop? Ohhh…we got completely soaked, so maybe…well, you know, I, I really enjoyed the rain…ah-hah-hah…it was fun. I hadn’t been out running in the rain for awhile… My sandals so I just took ‘em off.


Oh, that’s good…yeah…alright…I did not. I did not. Nuh-uh. What did you say? I did not say that, Lenore… I don’t think I said that. I really don’t remember saying that…Hm. Yeah, I was also talkin to Rafe about it today… What’s that?…[laugh]… No, well we got up at seven instead of 6:45. See, you don’t even remember it that well. You forgot the time that it happened—a half an hour wrong! You don’t remember any of the details, do you? You just remember Things.

Time is irrelevant? Yeah, it’s not important. So are the words that I used, huh?…[sigh]…Well,…ah, wait (?)…12:42…no…. I was kinda gettin tired [clear throat] and I wanted to, to call you before it was too late, so…I kind of pushed ‘em out…at the same time.…

Chicken Salad

So your house was fine? Your house was fine?… Is there still stuff in the freezer in that house?… Yeah… mm-hm… Well, not now… [p-shaw]… Gonna make some chicken salad tomorrow… You have class 'til eight-thirty?…. Alright, I’ll make some chicken salad sandwiches,… and I’ll make I’ll make… I’ll make, ah—you come over here and I’ll make dinner… and, ah, then we’ll go to your house and eat ice cream… you wanna do that?…

Continue reading...

Watching Twin Peaks

A: You know that painting I was talking about at the coffee shop?

J: (John has a quizzical look)

A: Nevermind. I’ll show it to you at some point, but we’re not going to talk about it. I’ll fuckin have to write that down, otherwise I’ll forget about it. They took down my favorite painting in that place. It’s gone.

J: (Burp)

(From the television, the idyllic “Twin Peaks” theme starts up)

A: I looked up shit on Joan Chen. She’s pretty much been like a standard actress for like the last three decades.

(Both of them laugh)

A: Hasn’t done anything of worth, but ah, like, she did some shit on cooking last year, for the holidays…(laugh) I’m gonna get this out before this comes on. (laughing) Oh shit. But she directed something that’s supposed to be really good. That’s all I really wanted to say. Ok.

(The show is now in progress)

A: That’s that old lady, the log lady.

J: No, that wasn’t the log lady.

A: Fuck it, I really am not going to be able to watch this.

J: That’s…

A: Directed by Tim Hunter…? Fuck.

J: Who’s that?

A: Did you ever see that before? Maybe it’s just this episode.

J: It’s probably…

A: Fuck. Do you know who Tim Hunter is?

J: No.

Go on ...