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OLIVIA GILETTI

SAM LEEDS

TIM CALLAHAN

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief

yea gurl

ew, girl.

mmm girl

EDITOR Kayla Cushner

Hannah Anderson Peter Frank Lizzie Grubman Agyness Deyn

STAFF Troy Shaheen Natalie Shutler Spencer Silverthorne Zach Webb Sarah Weiser

Joy Doyle Dina Lohan Lukas Moe Lauren Pfundstein

Leanne Phillip Nandi Plunkett Claire Potter Nate Pritchard


Welcome HORN:Spring Spring 2008 premier of HORN! Welcome to HORN: 2008, the, the premier issue issue of HORN! Sparkling andand shiny andand new,new, HORN, like her predecessor, comprises of Sparkling shiny HORN, like her predecessor, student-produced artwork, prose, and poetry. In all fairness, it is The Galcomprises of student-produced artwork, prose, and poetry. In allHorn fairness, lery Magazine’s makeover; in all honesty, it was tip to toe. it is The Horn Gallery Magazine’s makeover a capite ad calcem. What you hold yourin hands the next of student-focused What you now holdinnow yourishands is generation the next generation of content. Beyond the requisite “Art, Poetry and Prose,” the scope of this publicastudent-focused content. Beyond the habitual “Art, Poetry and Prose,” tion expands to encompass Film and Video, Music, and Style. Our real focus this publication’s scope expands its pages to encompass Film and Video, is you, though. Following recluse hiatus, a stint in counseling of near-court Music, and Style. sanctioned (Clan Lohan) proportions, diligent self-inventory focused carefully Our real focus is you, though. Following a stint in counseling (surgically) on improvements, and having buried Father issues, feelings of inatadequacy, Clan Lohan and having buried feelings and proportions the Gerascophobia, HORN’s standsfather ready issues, to capture you atof eruinadequacy, ourinkynophobia, HORN stands ready to capture you at dite play andand relish your innovation. your best erudite play and relish in your innovation. We feel a presence and virtuosos,and youare aretaking there behind your opus. We missingVisionaries in other publications it upon ourselves toatfillHORN the felt a presence missing in the student-anthology-mélange each year churnedvoid. The analyst says we’re “overcompensating our own inabilities with out on our beloved Hill; identifying it, a good bit of these pages represent our pretentious conjectures.” He is, clearly, projecting. efforts at highlighting, alongside the noteworthy, the individual.

Visionaries, virtuosos, you are there behind your opus, kids– and so a good bit of these pages represent our efforts at highlighting, alongside the noteworthy, the individual. After all a student body that frolics around mud-season Middle Path barefoot, headbangs in a Twisted Sisteresque fashion to Detroit Enjoy! Groove, and plays chess at 2 am in Gund computer lab deserves a voice. –The Editors So hark to HORN, and enjoy our premier issue alongside your extendo cheeseburger bisque.

–The Editors


C

s t n e t n o 2. Letter from the Editors 5. Film 7. Art, Honorable Mentions 9. Profiles: Art 17. Profiles: Style 25. Poetry and Prose 39. Last Licks: Editor’s Picks


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Spring in

this issue

1- Style: We catch up with President Nugent on her love of jewelry. page 22

2- Art Profile: Liz Shapiro &

3

Larry Keaty sit down to discuss their inspirations & current works. Shapiro, page 13

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3- Art: Honorable art mentions include pieces by alumnus Andrew Ritter ‘07. page 7

MARTHA GREGORY WRITES ON HER INTEREST IN FILM & HER NEW DOCUMENTARY ON THE 1949 OLD KENYON FIRE “To take images, music, sound clips and work them all together so a story then forms, is for me, the most thrilling art to make. I want to recreate the feeling I get while watching a film when everything syncs together on the screen in such a way that––in a single moment––I suddenly feel my heart in my mouth; my body and brain are wracked with the sensation created by emotion transferring from screen to body. That very transference is what I want to achieve through working in this medium.

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Though my formal experience is as of yet limited (some film studies classes and digital imaging; a Super 8mm/storyboarding class I took over the summer in San Francisco), I have wanted to make films since seventh grade. It was then that I first learned how to edit in iMovie®. Having since graduated to Final Cut Pro®, the possibilities are endless as I begin my latest and largest project: a documentary film for Professor Jonathan Tazewell’s class, “The Documentary.” I have chosen to make it about the 1949 fire in Old Kenyon that killed 9 students and left the college’s oldest and most emblematic building incinerated. I aim to tell the entire story of the fire including the events leading up to it and the aftermath of reconstruction which was left in its wake. So far I have spent time in Special Collections searching through the plethora of primary documents, testimonies, memorandums and police reports all concerning the circumstances and repercussions of the fire. It’s really enthralling work and I feel like a detective, surrounded by mountains of papers and books, researching a subject widely acknowledged but the specifics of which are less well known. It is such an unbelievable moment in Kenyon’s history, one that was heard about throughout the country and today most current students do not fully realize that one of the buildings used the most, the college’s defining symbol was almost exactly 60 years ago destroyed taking 9 students with it. Archival footage of the fire actually exists and can be viewed on the Kenyon website. It was taken by a student who thought to run into Leonard and grab his 16mm camera when he saw the fire. Between the clips of the fire itself, the primary documents in special collections along with interviews from alumni and current students I hope to create a picture of this historic event, igniting in current students and faculty a nostalgia for the beauty of this place, the tragedy of the fire, and the value of our college’s history.”

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Hometown: Shanghai, China mean I don’t draw trees and shit. In particular, I think Craig Hill because What’s your fa- he best relates to vorite class this my work. semester? Why? Well, It’s senior What is your fastudio because vorite type of I get to do my medium to work own thing, and with? there are no as- I like drawing signments. and monoprintWhat about Ke- ing. Monoprinting nyon do you find allows me to do particularly in- a lot of work with spires you/your out making mistakes. I also like work? I’d say that what’s drawing, usually inspired me most with ink, It allows at Kenyon are me to get very the professors. I detailed,

Which contemporary artists do you find most inspire your work? Right now my favorite artist is Zak Smith. I really liked his illustrations of every page of Thomas Pynchon’s book Gravity’s Rainbow. I particularly admire how prolific he is. That series inspired me to pursue a printmaking project based on Radiohead songs.

What project(s) are you working on currently? Right now I’m working on my senior show where I am creating extremely detailed drawings of city scapes. The series is supposed to portray the chaos of urban life.

What was the last art exhibition you went to see? I recently went to the art museum in Atlanta where I saw a piece by Anselm Keifer that I was blown away by. The piece was a huge mixed media painting depicting a beach under the stars. I find his process of applying nontraditional materials to be very expressive.


Liz Shapiro


Name: Liz Shapiro Hometown: San Francisco/ What is your favorite class this semester? Portland Oregon Fuck, well I’m taking maths and a holocaust Major: Studio ArtName: Liz Shapiro class so I guess my senior seminar. It’s the art major seminar and I’m taking it with Barry Gunderson. Every other week we have a critique on our independent work for our senior shows and then every other week we have an art based discussion which is really interesting. What do you find most inspires your work? Nature! I’m currently creating these collaged landscapes for my final project. I’m also really inspired by colours and different materials. What projects are you working on currently? My senior project. I’m making small imaginary

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Hometown: San Francisco/Portland Oregon Major: Studio Art landscapes on 7”7 panels using mixed media collage. What was the last exhibit you went to see? Chuck Close. I went to see a retrospective exhibit of his prints at the Portland Art Musuem.

What is your favourite medium to work with? Drawing but, right now I’m using mixed media for my final project.

Which contemporary artists most inspire your work? This artist I’ve seen in Portland a couple times, Anna Fidler. There are a lot of similarities between my work and hers, we both create imaginary landscapes. Her work is full of color and is really fantastically beautiful. I’m also really inspired by Darren Waterston and Camille Solyagua.


What is your favorite class this semester? Fuck, well I’m taking math and a holocaust class so I guess my senior seminar. It’s the art major seminar and

I’m taking it with Barry Gunderson. Every other week we have a critique on our independent work for our senior shows and then every other week we have an art based discussion which is really interesting. What do you find most inspires your work? Nature! I’m currently creating these collaged landscapes for my final project. I’m also really inspired by colors and different materials. What projects are you working on currently? My senior project. I’m making small imaginary landscapes on 7”x7” panels using mixed media collage. What was the last exhibit you went to see? Chuck Close. I went to see a retrospective exhibit of his prints at the Portland Art Musuem. What is your favorite medium to work with? Drawing but, right now I’m using mixed media for my final project. Which contemporary artists most inspire your work? This artist I’ve seen in Portland a couple times, Anna Fidler. There are a lot of similarities between my work and hers, we both create imaginary landscapes. Her work is full of color and is really fantastically beautiful. I’m also really inspired by Darren Waterston and Camille Solyagua.

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your mpus? What is ” ce on ca la p gh said. e u it r o n e favo , e ous

ina H

“ The Ch What is your favorite class this semester & why?:

”My favorite class would probably be The Actor because I get to immerse myself in the performing arts.”

What was the last song you listened to?

“Protect your neck – Wu Tang Clan.”

What was the last book you read? “State of Denial:

Bush at War Pt. III by Bob Woodward … for my “Gund. Gund has such a wonderful homey feeling.” seminar.” Gund or Ernst?

Allstus– subscribe or unsubscribe?

“Subscribe, recently just subscribed.”

Define your Kenyon style in 5 words or less:

“Comfortable-chic and gangster-cheap.“

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your Kenyon closet? “Probably my red Marc Jacobs coat, I wear

that everyday.”

If you could join any TV show family/cast, which would it be? “The Chase family on My So Called Life because

that show is sheer teenage poetry. It’s so god damn angsty, I love it.”

Define glochideous: “I guess it has a negative connota-

tion so, having to do with badger sex. Ya, that seems about right.”


Describe your Kenyon style in 5 words or less:

¸B^h]"bVh]! l]Vi>a^`Z¹

Name: Eliza Logan Hometown: NYC Major: Drama, Art History What is your favorite class this semester & why?: “Intro to philosophy. I’ve never really been exposed to philosophy in this setting before. The professor is really inspiring and the class is something totally new for me. I was definitely intimidated by the subject before...” Gund or Ernst? “Gund for lunch and Ernst for dinner.” Allstus? “Unsubscribe, I already get enough studentinfo’s.” What is your favourite place on campus? “This is going to sound really nerdy but I like the library AND I will like Pierce.”

Who/What inspires your Kenyon style?

“I wear what I feel comfortable in. I’m inspired by a lot of different things; walking around at home, window shopping. I try to take ideas from a lot of different sources.” What was the last song you listened to?

“Vampire is a Bit Strong – Arctic Monkeys.” What was the last book you read?

“Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen.” If you could join any TV show family/cast, which would it be?

“6 feet under, in a heartbeat.” Define glochideous: “Glowing, in a hideous way.”


What is your favorite class this semester & why?

”Psychology. I get to sit for an hour and twenty minutes.” Gund or Ernst? “Gund, of course.” Allstus? “Unsubscribed, uncircumcised.” What is your favorite place on campus? “Mather.” Who/What inspires your style? “Michael Jordan and

Skate and Hip-hop culture. Michael Jordan because he released the greatest sneaker line out there. Their will never be another series of shoes like that. With the Hip-hop, that was really the innovator of the shoe and sneaker culture. The skate stuff I guess kind of took the sneaker culture and did their experimentation on it. They brought a darker side to the innovation of the Air Force Ones.“ Define your Kenyon style in 5 words or less:

“Casual. Sneaker-Head.“

Name: Kyle Whitman Hometown: Wooster, Ohio Major: Economics What is your favorite piece of clothing in your Kenyon closet? “Probably the World B. Free Cleveland

Cavaliers throw back jersey. I really like basketball jerseys and I like to rep my home state as much as I can.”

What was the last song you listened to?

“L.A. by Murs.”

What was the last book you read?

“Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: The History of Hip-Hop.” If you could join any TV show family/cast, which would it be? “That’s a tough one; they don’t give out the last

names on Laguna Beach.”

Define glochideous: “I can’t be sure. If it’s anything

like glochidion, it may be a taxon of plants in the Phyllanthaceae family.”


Name: Andy Mc,eNlwJ endham Hometown: M Major: Art History What is your favorite class this semester & why?

ee

Define your Kenyon style in 5 words or less:

”Photo, it’s a nice change of pace.” “On fire tsshh...“ Gund or Ernst?

What was the last song you listened to?

“Gund, you kidding me!” “I Know There’s An Answer – Beach Boys.” Allstus?

What was the last book you read?

“Don’t subscribe but compulsively check.” “Invitation to A Beheading – Vladimir Nabokov.” What is your favorite place on campus?

If you could join any TV show family/cast, which

“Gund computer lab, it’s where I spend most of would it be? my time.” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” What is your favorite piece of clothing in your Kenyon closet? “My Daily Record hat.”

Define glochideous:

“A prehistoric four legged mammal, a quadruped if you will.”


Hometown: mostly Miami.. but born in New Orleans and also grew up in: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Florence KY, Louisville, and a few other places

All-Stu’s, subscribe or unsubscribe? Check in from time to time What is your favorite place on campus? The chapel. It was the first place I entered on campus. And I just think it’s beautiful and a wonderful place both for reflecting alone and for coming together. The facing pews seem to me to emblematize our connections as a community. Who/what inspires your style? Comfort and “wearability” are important to me– my clothes need to travel well and still look great. So– although I subscribe to W– that’s not going to define my style; it’s going to be taking ideas from what’s au courant and translating them into what’s wearable for me. Describe your Kenyon style in 5 words or less: elegant eclecticism

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Have your positions in traditionally male-dominated academia roles defined your wardrobe choices in the past? Not at all. I never subscribed to the “dress for success” notion of a woman looking just like a man in a suit but with a cute little scarf. I love design in all its forms– from calligraphy to architecture, and I’ve always been guided by a kind of sensibility to what design would make sense for me. Jackie had a pillbox, Wallis Simpson her brooches. What accessory most defines “your look”? Well, we all know it’s jewelry, isn’t it? For me, clothes supply the background for the accessories. I’m not sure why this is so. I just find jewelry interesting and fun. And the range is wide– some of my pieces are quite valuable, many are plastic and not particularly valuable at all. I just

get interested in the designers and what they’re doing. What is your favorite piece of jewelry? Why? Easy. My silver Georg Jensen choker. When my husband was in the Army in Germany (having been a ROTC student at Princeton), he saw the piece in the window of a store and said, “Why don’t you just try it on?” It was perfect, and he bought it on the spot. It was a romantic moment right out of a 40’s movie, when he said “We’ll take it.” I’m not sure whether he went without food or without paying rent for the subsequent period, but I’m pretty sure one of those was necessary. I should perhaps add a note here: When I was teaching at Brown, in the late 80’s, my apartment was burglarized several times. And what was taken was jewelry, including pieces of sentimental value that had belonged to my mother. In some ways, I think both my husband and I have been making up for that loss in subsequent years. What was your biggest fashion regret? Lying in a drawer I have a beautiful African necklace of cherry amber. The beads are just luscious. I bought it in a boutique in San Francisco, for way too much money. And I’ve never worn it. In the abstract, it’s great. When I try to wear it--I feel like a clown in a ruff. (And, since you know my eclectic taste in jewelry-that’s saying something.) If you were forced to describe your student body’s style, which you are here, how would you do so? Kenyon students seem to me to pretty accurately mirror the larger student culture in America. I love some of the looks (for example, short skirts and


usually aim for layers, so that I can adjust to the various temperatures in the terminal, plane, destination, etc. I believe in dressing well to travel– sweats in that environment are not for me. My mother used to say that, when you went to the doctor, you should look worth saving. You travel a lot. With the current FAA/TSA I pretty much subscribe to that philosophy. restrictions as they are, what’s in your carryon and what comprises flight attire? Great What was the last song you listened to? question. I carry on only books and jewelry. I tend to listen to WOSU classical music. My (Gee, how revealing is that?) Flight attire? I husband just gave me a CD of Leon Russell (oh boy, blasts of the past) and I’m having a lot of fun listening to him again. tights, Uggs with EVERYthing). And I also find myself feeling like an old fogey, surprised by some of the looks (skin tight clothing for all body types, a whole lot of decolletage, etc.) I’m not opposed to these looks on some moral dimension; I just find them unattractive.

What was the last book you read? What book do you currently recommend? On a recent delayed flight back to Columbus, I read a fun book by Roger Rosenblatt, a great friend of Kenyon. The comic novel is called _Beet_, and it’s a fun satire of academic life. I was struck by its similarities to works by our own P.F. Kluge. Of course, what I’d recommend is Homer– you can never read him too often. Define “glochideous”: Hmm. Thwarts the etymologist in me. I’d say something in such a brilliant acid-glo color that it’s hideous.


Name: Lindsay Thomas Hometown: NYC Major: International Studies

(and hopefully Environmental Studies)

What is your favorite class this semester & why?

”My independent study class because I get to hang out with Caroline G, Mr. Mauck and Fen-Fen and we get to play with lots of red tape.” Gund or Ernst? “I like Gund, deep down. My heart likes Gund but my stomach likes Ernst.” Allstus? “Subscribe” What is your favorite place on campus? “My bed at Milk

Cartons. I really like to sleep.”

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Who/What inspires your style? “The Yellow Arrow

(thestoryofstuff.com), Rihanna, Madonna, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Joseph (only when he’s wearing his Technicolor Dreamcoat), Paul Bunyan.”

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your Kenyon closet? “Spanx Body Suit Tube Bra and Sucker Inner,

Flannel #13.”

What was the last song you listened to?

“Drunken Hot Girls – Kanye West.” What was the last book you read?

“… I listen to Freakanomics on tape?” If you could join any TV show family/cast, which would it be? “The Bluths from Arrested Development (and in-

cest would be A-OK. . .hello GeorgeMichael).”

Define glochideous: “Having to do with glaucoma.”


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Two men sat among a scatter of rocks lining the top of a ridge. Several hundred yards below them a sizeable herd of cattle was strung out along an arroyo, still muddy from the recent rains. Across the valley the setting sun drenched the land in deep red light. “Time for us to get to work,” said Everett. “Reckon it’s safe?” said Jack. “We’ve been sitting here all day, haven’t we? Have you seen any hombres around?” They stood up and Jack tossed his cigarette into the dirt and stamped it out with his boot. Two horses, a buckskin and a bay roan, were hitched in a small stand of mesquite above the ridge. Everett mounted the buckskin, Jack the roan, and the two men followed a narrow, winding trail down to the arroyo. Jack strained his eyes as they approached the cattle. The brand on each flank was a semicircle with cross inside and a smaller circle adjacent to it. “Mexicans have some strange irons, huh?” he said. “Smith doesn’t care if they’re branded or not. He’ll give us the same price regardless,” said Everett. They split the herd in two and drove a couple hundred head up the trail they had just descended. Everett got their cattle moving, while Jack stayed below with the remaining half and kept them from spooking. When the herd was safely separated Jack rejoined Everett, and they set off east through the scrub brush. Behind them the sun had dropped below the horizon. The foothills of the Sierra Madres to the northwest were draped in shadows. In less than an hour they reached the poorly defined path Everett said would lead back to the river. In the heavy darkness just before the moon was up, they led the cattle down into another one of the many arroyos that crisscrossed the countryside. Jack scrubbed down the horses and Everett built a small fire with dead mesquite to heat up some chili con carne for dinner. The rough, sweet smell of mesquite smoke floated up from the smoldering ashes. Everett finished the last of his chili and walked down to scrub his tin pan in the muddy water. Jack leaned back against his saddle, lit a cigarette, and watched the older man in the bleached light of the moon. Everett was well into his forties, not large but powerfully built, with thick black hair he wore combed back, revealing his tan, creased forehead. His eyes were strikingly blue, like sheet-ice, and he kept his face clean-shaven. After they shared a few nips from Everett’s pewter hip flask, the two men pushed their saddles up under a short limestone overhang and lay down on top of their saddle

blankets. “How much farther to the river, you reckon?” said Jack. “If we leave here by sun up, we ought to cross by noon,” said Everett. Above their heads the wind rustled through the mesquite and creosote along the draw. Occasionally the cattle shifted among the rocks, snorted or lowed quietly. “How long have you been working for Smith?” said Jack, after a few moments of silence. “I don’t work for Smith,” said Everett. “And I haven’t known him for long, but he gives a decent price for wet stock. Six dollars a head.” Jack whistled under his breath. “I’m not sure it’s enough, considering the risk. But it beats driving cattle from here to Kansas,” said Everett. “Sounds fine to me,” said Jack. He picked up a stone and tossed it into the creek. After a minute or two of silence, he asked, “you married Everett?” “No,” said Everett. “I got a wife and a son, up in Abilene,” said Jack. “We’re thinking we’ll open our own store, like a general supply, maybe. I just need some seed money first.” “Well, this is a decent way to make some cash,” said Everett. Jack leaned forward and threw another stone into the creek. “You saving up for anything in particular?” “No, just trying to survive,” said Everett. He turned over on his side, and in less than a minute was snoring quietly. They had met three days ago on Smith’s ranch, outside El Paso. This was the longest conversation Jack had yet to elicit. *** The air was heavy and warm when they awoke in the morning. Gunmetal clouds along the eastern horizon were lit from below. The two men rose from their makeshift pallets and Everett spread the cold ashes into the rocky sand with the toe of his boot. Jack scrambled out of the draw and looked around, but it didn’t seem as if any of the cattle had wandered during the night. They ate a few hard biscuits each and saddled up. The sun had just broken through the low clouds when they turned north. The cattle moved begrudgingly in a long line down the hard-packed trail. After an hour or so the clouds burned off and distant stands of stunted trees began to waver in the heat. The two men were slumped over lazily in their saddles; streaks


of sweat muddied the dirt coating their faces. They tied bandanas over their mouths to keep the dust out, but it stung their eyes and filled their nostrils. Occasionally Everett would reach up and pat his horse on its broad neck. He was doing this as they reached a small rise when he stopped abruptly. He sidled up to Jack and tapped his shoulder. “Did you see something off there,” he asked, pointing ahead and to their right. “No,” said Jack. Deep creases cut through Everett’s face, but they continued on. After about half a mile Everett stopped again, and let the cattle move a little ways ahead. “Listen,” he said. They sat still, with straining ears. Jack’s eyes widened as he heard something moving through the brush. All of a sudden a rider appeared out of an arroyo less than a hundred yards behind them. He was Mexican, wearing a yellow shirt stained with sweat and holding a rifle. All three sat for a brief moment, before the Mexican raised his gun and fired two quick shots. Jack screamed and grabbed his neck, barely managing to stay mounted as his horse bolted away. Everett kept a tight rein on his buckskin and led it towards a stand of thick brush between him and the other rider. The Mexican fired twice more, but neither shot found its mark. Everett drew his .44-40 lever-action from its saddle scabbard and took aim at the man riding towards him. The first shot flew wide, but the second knocked the man off his horse, a sorrel, which charged on past Everett. He approached the Mexican cautiously. The man lay on his back on a sandy patch of ground. His rifle was several feet away, safely out of reach. The shot had struck him just below his collar, and a dark red patch of blood spread across his yellow shirt until his chest looked like one of the indian blankets that grew up on the llano. He tried to speak, but when he opened his mouth a spray of pink spittle was all that came out. Everett pulled his horse to a stop, took careful aim and shot the man in the head. Everett sat for a moment and ran his hand over the stained-walnut stock, feeling the grain with his fingers. He didn’t look down at the Mexican again. After a moment he turned his horse and scanned the terrain for Jack. The bay roan stood riderless at a good distance on the other side of the river trail. Everett found Jack sitting on a piece of cracked earth in the shadow of the roan. The younger man held his bandana against the side of his neck, a few inches below his right ear, and was trying to tear another piece of cloth. His hands were soaked in blood, and dark red drops fell from the saturated bandana onto the salt-white ground. “Here, let me see that,” Everett said as he dismounted. He took the cloth from Jack’s teeth, a terry cloth camp towel, and used his knife to cut it in half. “I think the bleeding is almost stopped,” Jack said, through gritted teeth. Everett dampened one of the pieces of terry cloth with water from his canteen and knelt beside Jack. He slowly took the bandana from Jack’s neck and tossed it aside. It landed with a damp slap among some prickly pear. Blood had already dried to a brickish color on his cheek and down to his collarbone. Everett patted the damp cloth along the length of the gash that ran three or four inches across Jack’s

tanned neck. The edges of the wound were black and ragged with congealed blood, but the bleeding did appear to have stopped. Everett took out his flask and splashed a little whiskey on the cut before Jack realized what he was doing. The younger man grimaced with pain but didn’t say anything. “I don’t know if that does anything,” Everett said, smiling. “But I met a fellow that fought in the war, and said he saw someone do it at a field station.” He pressed the dry piece of cloth over the gash and tied it tight there with his own bandana. “You’re one lucky son of a bitch, you know that right?” “Doesn’t mean it don’t hurt like hell,” said Jack. Everett helped Jack back onto his horse, and the two rode back to the trail. Not far from where they had stopped, the cattle had quit running and dispersed amid the brush. They sat for a moment and looked at the grazing animals. “He might not have been alone,” said Jack. Everett shook his head. “Let’s round ‘em up as quick as we can. We’ll lose a few, but no matter. Keep your eyes sharp, and if you see anything we ride, cattle or no.” As he spoke Jack peered to the north. “Everett,” he said, and pointed. Three riders had appeared on a rise about a half mile from where they sat. As soon as the riders topped the ridge - where they had a clear view of the cattle, Everett and Jack - they kicked their horses into a gallop sending a column of dust trailing behind them. “We can’t make it to the river without running into ‘em,” said Jack. “We’ll ride west. If they follow us, we can lose ‘em easier in the hills,” said Everett. Jack winced as his horse broke into a hard gallop. The jarring pace sent shivers of pain down the right side of his body, but he squeezed the reins and kept his eyes ahead. Behind them, shots rang out in the distance, but they were safely out of range. Everett led the way up a shallow incline, and in less than half an hour they could no longer see the cattle or the riders. They spent the rest of the day riding the horses as hard as they could without killing them. They stopped occasionally in arroyos where there was still a little muddy water left to let the horses drink and rest. A little past noon Everett ate a few more biscuits, but Jack shook his head when the older man offered him one. He took the flask when it was brought out, though, and took a long pull. They didn’t see the riders again, but in the mid-afternoon they stopped on high ground and could just make out a trail of dust in the distance. The sky remained cloudless the entire day, and the sun poured down heat without mercy. The thickets of grass where sparse and tawny, and bean pods hung down from the mesquite trees like long fingers reaching for the earth. The land began to rise steadily as they entered the foothills of the Sierra Madres. They turned north and tried to follow ridgelines when they could. In the early evening Everett stopped and took out a compass. He looked at it, then at the mountains to the west, and back at the compass. “We could be in the New Mexico Territory by now, for


wakaall I know,” he said after thinking for a moment. “Well, we should head back east then, make for El Paso,” said Jack. “I don’t know how far north we are, and we can’t risk running into our friends again. I say we head into the mountains, find some decent water and ride east in the morning, try to find the river.” As they gained elevation the stands of mesquite and the spidery creosote bushes changed to patches of stunted pinyon along the walls of deeper ravines. The slender stalks of lechuguilla along the ridges pierced the darkening sky. The earth grew rockier, and the clack of the horses’ hooves seemed to reverberate in the hot, dense air. By sunset they were riding beneath high cliffs of red sandstone. They found a narrow canyon with a clear stream running down from the mountains. Narrow spires of stone stood along the steep canyon walls like sentinels, and Everett found a poorly defined trail leading upstream. They followed the trail until the light was too dim to ride any longer. The moon couldn’t yet be seen in the thin strip of sky above their heads, but the Milky Way lay across the darkness like a dry wash of sandy stars. They camped in a clearing along the creek, under a high overhang. When their fire was lit they could see black stains on the rock shelf above. After they ate, Everett warmed some water and removed the makeshift dressings from Jack’s neck. “Too bad I don’t have anything to stitch this up with,” said Everett. “I’d just as soon wait, either way,” said Jack, with a wry smile. He inhaled sharply and ground his teeth as Everett poured a little more whiskey on the gash. The wound didn’t look good; the long day of riding had kept it from closing properly, and now the inside was raw and full of puss. An oval of pink, puffy skin surrounded the length of the cut. Everett warmed some water and Jack washed the dried, cracked blood that covered his right side from ear to shoulder. Everett cleaned the dressings and reapplied them while Jack finished the last of the whiskey. “How does it look?” he asked, as he shook the last drops into his mouth. “You should feel damn lucky to be alive. A couple of inches over and…” Everett shook his head. Jack sat hunched up, shivering slightly, as Everett ate another meal of chili. Jack still couldn’t stomach any food, and his face looked pale, with dark circles beneath his eyes. “You ever been shot before, Everett?” asked Jack, pulling his blanket up around his shoulders. “No,” said Everett. He continued after a moment, “And I’d like to keep it that way.” “This is going to be one hell of a scar, huh?” Jack said, smiling wanly, and motioning to his bandaged neck. Everett was quiet for a few moments, before saying, “that’ll be some story to tell your boy.” “I reckon you don’t have any children, do you?” asked Jack. Everett exhaled loudly. “I have a daughter. She and my former wife moved out East a while back.” Jack didn’t respond. He wrapped the blanket around himself tighter, and closed his eyes. ***

Jack woke in the early morning. The air almost felt cool in the shadows of the canyon, and he could hear the whisper of the creek from where he lay. He sat up and saw a pot of coffee steaming beside a pile of ashes. Everett sat cross-legged a few feet away, with a saucer of warm water and a straight razor, shaving. Have some coffee,” Everett said, motioning at the pot. Jack shook his head. “Just as well,” said Everett. “You ought to try and rest up before you get back on a horse.” Jack didn’t say anything, and after sitting for a few minutes lay back down on his saddle blanket and fell asleep again. When Everett finished shaving he put his shirt on, checked the horses, and started walking back downstream the way they had come. He had been walking about ten minutes when he heard the sound of hooves farther down the trail, out of sight. He ran back to their camp and woke Jack up. “They found us,” said Everett under his breath, as he pulled his rifle from his saddle and cranked the lever in one swift motion. Jack didn’t say anything. It was early still, and the sky above their heads was a deep blue. Jack took his Colt .38 from his knapsack and stuck it into the waist of his pants before he threw the saddle onto his horse. They walked upstream as fast as possible without making too much noise. “We have a few minutes head start on them,” whispered Everett. Jack nodded. They had gone about a quarter of a mile when the canyon turned and then widened around a tinaja, the color of coral, that sat beneath a waterfall. The canyon was steeper here, and at the edge of the pool grew a large madrone, its rust-red bark peeling off the smooth white skin beneath. The rock walls were covered in moss, and the only direction they could continue on was up past the waterfall, but there was no easy route for the horses. “How many were there?” asked Jack. “I don’t know,” said Everett. He looked at the younger man, and then ran his hands through his hair. They dismounted. Jack hitched the horses to the madrone. He looked at Everett, who was crouched over his knapsack. The older man was thumbing through a sizeable roll of bills, and took out two sawbucks which he slipped into his chest pocket. “Jesus Christ,” said Jack softly, his eyes wide. “You going to try and pay ‘em?” “Maybe,” said Everett. They waited just before the bend. The air was still, and the day’s warmth was beginning to seep down into the canyon. “Give me your pistol,” said Everett. Jack nodded, pulled the pistol from his waist and handed it to Everett. His eyes were wide, and he was breathing rapidly. Sweat poured down Everett’s face, but otherwise the older man seemed composed. Everett shoved the Colt into his belt, at the small of his back, and tucked his shirttail behind it, so it was more accessible. He handed his rifle to Jack, took the money back out of his pocket and gripped it in his sweaty palm. “Use that rock there for cover,” said Everett, nodding to a boulder beneath the far wall.


Jack nodded, and walked over to where Everett had motioned and crouched down. His hands squeezed the rifle stock until his knuckles were white as bone. After a couple minutes they could hear the sound of horses from the direction they had come. Just before the riders came into sight, Everett called out loudly, “Pare! Pare!” They heard the men’s horses whinny as the riders pulled up before the bend. “Tengo dinero,” Everett yelled. “Si,” came the response, somewhere between a statement and a question. The riders slowly rounded the turn. Everett had walked out into the middle of the canyon, and raised his hands above his head. He held the money in plain view. Only two men came into sight, both rancheros, around Everett’s age. They both held rifles, but they were lowered. “No necesitamos disparar,” said Everett, less loudly. The two men nodded. From where they sat on their horses they could not see Jack behind the boulder. Everett waved the money and the rancheros began to ride forward. When they were a few yards from Everett, Jack stood up and fired at the Mexican nearest him. He flew off his horse, which bolted back downstream. “Jack!” yelled Everett. The second ranchero raised his rifle before Everett could pull the pistol, and fired. The shot sliced through the flesh of Everett’s thigh, just a few inches below the hip. Everett fell to the floor of the canyon as Jack fired another shot. The Mexican dropped his rifle and fell off his horse, holding the side of his abdomen. The horse followed the other downstream toward the mouth of the canyon. Everett climbed to his feet and staggered over to where the Mexican lay. Blood was spilling from his gut onto the chalky canyon floor. Everett drew the pistol from behind his back, and fired two shots into the man’s chest. The body convulsed for a moment, and then was still. From back near the tinaja they could hear their own horses stamp-

ing anxiously. Everett turned around. Jack was still standing behind the boulder. The first ranchero lay in a wide pool of blood, dark and slick like a puddle of crude oil. The shot had ripped through his chest and he did not need another. Everett looked back at Jack. The rifle was still propped against his shoulder, and the young man’s body was shaking violently. All of a sudden he turned to Everett and fired a third time. The shot hit Everett in the shoulder, and the old man spun around and landed face down. The pistol clattered on the rocks several feet from where he lay. Everett tried to turn over, but Jack had already walked over to stand above him and dug the barrel of the rifle beneath his shoulder blade. It was silent for a moment, as neither said a word, before Jack pulled the barrel back, took aim, and fired two more shots into Everett’s back. The blasts echoed down the canyon. Jack returned to the madrone on unsteady legs. He rummaged through Everett’s knapsack until he found the roll of money. All together it was one hundred and fifteen dollars. Jack stuffed the bills into his boot, and mounted his roan. His eyes were closed as he rode past the corpses at the bend. After a while, he began to feel nauseous, and when he reached the entrance to the canyon he jumped off his horse and fell to his knees, as dry heaves contorted his body. But in a few moments he was feeling better, and he climbed back onto his horse. His neck had begun to throb, and the dressing was moist, but Jack no longer felt as feverish as he had. He smiled to himself, sitting in the shadow of the sandstone cliff behind him. Everett’s buckskin snorted at his back. Below him, the land descended in gentle swells to the scrub plain. His eyes fell on what might have been a wagon trail snaking across the flat expanse to the north. He looked up at the sun, trying to judge the time. In the sky, a buzzard soared on an invisible updraft, barely more than a black spot against the vast blue.

was. They were bad to me, those times. No use covering that up. Or maybe it was the other way around and the bad was mine. It has blurred in my memory. The worst was the many Friday returns home and the greeting of a stagnant quiet. I would stare into the television with my dinner in my lap, and staring the dinner would eventually disappear, the pictures on the screen would disappear. I would just be gazing into the screen, upon the image of me that was reflected in the glass. Under the labored twirl of the fan, my steps on the green linoleum would sound like scuttling. I would scrape the grease off the stove. I would put one pillow on either end of the couch and try to make the place look nice. Like it had an excuse to. I read – old books I’d skipped on in school and others I picked up at the grocery store. I wrote – about monsters, mostly. The lumbering woeful black and white kind that only had the misfortune of

LAsT SundAy I was the driver. The van, the bus, and the truck, on those special occasions. So it’s been since old Pastor Faden showed a kid whose single semester of college didn’t treat him too well a little sympathy. I don’t think he suspected I’d still be there a decade hence. But I suspect I did right from the start. I drove for the church, mostly. To the food bank. To retreats up to the state park. To conferences over in Little Rock. The old folks home would call me sometimes – I’d drive them wherever. The county hospital ambulance broke down one weekend, and I drove my van for them in its place. I would have, I guess – had there been a call. I was holding out for one. It was a glimmer of a happening, and that was enough. Enough to jumpstart this heart it

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wakng up in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the wait for Monday was interminable, and it was only so because in driving time rushed by much like the distance in my rearview mirror. And with driving like the kind I did, there was never much thinking of where I was getting to. Once Monday showed up, and I got behind the wheel, it all fell back – the restlessness. I drove the happy church folk. I covered up. If I don’t miss my guess, me and Pastor Raymond had this in common. * I was parked outside the food bank, waiting for some kids from the elementary school to finish gathering money to pay for a well in Africa. It was Pastor Raymond’s idea, one of his many good ideas – so the church got them there. I was admiring the quiet of an empty bus and trudging through my ratty 10th grade copy of a book called A Room With a View. It was about as close to a woman’s touch as I could hope for, but my patience was wearing, and there was a knock. Pastor Raymond stood at the driver’s window. He was still the newly hired “young-blood” then. He was cooped up in a one-bedroom apartment in the dingy trough in town, out where the quarry noises and the treelines got tangled. One of the first things you’d notice about Pastor Raymond was he was heavy in the haunches, which meant you could poke him in select places and your finger would disappear. Next you’d notice his pair of blue storytime eyes, and his blonde mushroom-cut hair – a ten year old’s hair. There was the glimmer that came into his eyes at the mention of anything Jesus-like. I never saw him anywhere, save Sundays, holidays, and those days he and his ideas needed a ride. Which was how I came to know our Pastor Raymond, you’ll see. What little I know. I was a moment registering that the object he was gesturing up in my direction was a flask. “I know,” he said, and shrugged, “Everyone caves sometimes and you’re a trustworthy man who knows how to keep his mouth shut, aren’t you? Go ahead.” I accepted, not without hesitating, and took a swig of the most fiery stuff that has ever ventured down my throat. We got to talking and I wish that more of the conversation remained with me. But I realize this may be evidence to the ease of our conversation. We shot it like two easy friends, free of push or worry, this I remember. It wasn’t a talk you had with your pastor, but a talk with the guy who sits in the back row with a little smile on his face. We were both slouched inside the bus by now. I was in a seat directly behind the driver’s seat and Pastor Raymond was across from me. “What’s that there?” he asked of my book. I raised it so he could read the cover. He spat out the window. “You read any war histories?” “Can’t say that I have.” “You do your own?” “Writing?” Pastor Raymond nodded. “Sometimes,” I admitted. “That’s hard shit. What kind?” “Anything with monsters,” I said. “Well, we’re partners in crime then,” he said. He slouched so that from where I sat it looked like his upper body was swallowed in the mound of his gut. “Peas in a

goddamn pod.” “You write too?” I asked, surprised. Pastor Raymond’s smile was just shy of a sneer. “Sermons.” He glanced through the front windshield, and through it we could see that two of ours – a boy about eleven and a girl who looked about eight – had lost interest in wells in Africa and were chasing a grasshopper across the blacktop. “I’m giving you a mandate, Sam,” Pastor Raymond said, watching the kids, “As your pastor, you understand.” “As my pastor, right.” Pastor Raymond nodded gravely. “When I get out of this church, that means you go too.” “Oh, yeah?” I reached for more words and came up short. “Uh-huh,” Pastor Raymond said, nodding and squinting off at the kids. They had leapt forward at the same time and caught the grasshopper. “A smart kid like you can do better than this. Don’t make that face – you know I’m right.” The boy snatched the grasshopper off the ground and held it high, too high for the girl to reach. She yelped and turned red from trying. They ran around the parking lot in circles, the girl reaching, her lips going full blast, and the boy holding out, looking like he was having the time of his life. “Dumb kids,” Pastor Raymond mumbled. “You could raise off the emergency break right now and they’d never see you coming till you were rolling crunches into the pavement.” We sat in quiet. Pastor Raymond returned the flask to his jacket and his face was stern. He watched the little girl cry on the blacktop through the window. I hesitated to ponder what I’d just heard, so I kept very still. Young Pastor Raymond. The dutiful son of God that nobody really knew or bothered knowing. I wondered as I still do who he was before he came our way. * Not long after, something happened. Ask anyone, they’ll give you a version by their own reckoning. Pastor Raymond himself is long gone now, his flask and the truth with him. It must’ve been six or seven in the morning. The sun was just peeking through the sky, a dimly orange haze of stillness. Probably he was bent over the little desk beside his stove and scratching a pencil across some loose pages. And I wonder if this morning wasn’t a little different for him even at that early juncture. Did he write a little more than usual? Or was it all too soon that the thing stepped up to his front door knocking before the realization of a difference set in? A thunk it was, weighty, and followed after by clicking. It sounded like a bicycle. But there was something beneath it – labored breathing, but like breathing through a cluttered pipe. Pastor Raymond raised himself up to squint through the window into the dimness of morning, expecting a raccoon, maybe a bear. A bicycle was bumping against the overhang of his roof. And slouched beneath: the human shape whose back the bicycle was stuck in. Right before he scrambled into the backmost corner of his apartment, I imagine Pastor Raymond grabbed his pages at the corners and shoved them into the nearest garbage can. But this is just the way I see it. Pastor Raymond tells it this way: his little apartment quaked, buckled on its bones like something collided with it. The plates shuffled


in the cabinets and the refrigerator screeched across the floor. The light flickered once and cut off. * Hours later, Pastor Raymond sat in the empty chapel and explained himself before the church deacons. I was there too because I was the one that stopped him from breaking anymore expensive equipment. They asked him what happened to him. Pastor Raymond looked up, but this man, all covered in mud and with resentment in his eyes, was a stranger to them. I recognized a semblance of the man from the afternoon of the shared flask. While they waited for him to answer, his eyes shifted to me. And to my discomfort, he kept them on me and began to speak of his morning, what he saw, what happened to him. He wore a small smile and his eyes never left me. So the pieces of that morning are just that, and they are his. I’ve done my damndest with them, and done what fit by my measure. * His front door tumbled in like a flicked playing card. And with the motion of a big man falling down the stairs, Pastor Raymond’s guest poured into the kitchen. Pastor Raymond darted. He fled the trembling of everything from its place, moving with very little notion of chasing or being chased. It would appear in the corner of his eye, and he would be off crashing in the opposite direction. By some maneuver he ended up outside and he began sprinting toward the trees. His lungs wheezed in November and it froze the white of his teeth. He ran away from his apartment and away from the pinpoint of sun shooting red up the sky, a silhouette – a scrambling shadow, empty and fading. Pastor Raymond ran, but suddenly he swung his leg down and found that there was no ground. He was tumbling lopsided in an uptide of leaves – he had been lifted well above the ground. He was dropped flat on the blacktop of Route 3, dropped abruptly so that the air went out of him and his eyes went fractured like kaleidoscopes. His sight cleared and he tightened in seeing it lean over him, head angled like it was studying him with whatever senses it had. It was a vaguely human shape, but gangly, dripping. The sun was higher now and the blazed red leaves that had clustered together into its body gleamed in sun-streaks. The bicycle jutting from the bend in its back was pale blue, a child’s bicycle. Wasp nests clumped like the pipes of church organs where its ribs should’ve been. There was a depression for the face, where berry sprigs swelled purple and hot. There was the blast of a horn, loud enough to blow away whatever lasted of the night’s stillness. Pastor Raymond swears he could hear the tires skimming so close it sounded like touching them. The truck narrowly missed him. He called it a miracle. But there was another sound too and with it Pastor Raymond went blind under a spray of leaves and old rainwater, soil and insect shells, all red and flickering like flames. I wonder if he that he hadn’t been hit after all, if he wasn’t already in transit to his intended place. But it was just the gust rustling the leaves. Whatever miracle spared Pastor Raymond showed no such mercy on the thing that chased him. The gust settled, and then Pastor Raymond recognized the coiled bulk of leaves trying to hold itself together. It snailed across the asphalt,

already looking for pieces of itself. Pastor Raymond must have run to his apartment and back fast enough that when he returned it hadn’t gotten far, and it must’ve been hurt enough by that truck that Pastor Raymond could get it against the traffic sign with a length of chain, tie it up, and leave it behind to wither in the sunlight. * Pastor Raymond was late to church that morning. On one side of his empty seat in the front row, Ms. Merrill was telling the same story of witnessing her husband’s hanging. And on the other side John Carlsen sat by himself, staring off into nothingness, pinching the buttons of his striped shirt. I sat directly behind and watched. I noticed immediately that this was a crowded day – nearly every seat full and chatting with its neighbor. It was as though people came expecting something. Then in slipped Pastor Raymond, slack in the face and open-mouthed. It took him a few steps to register where he was. His eyes wandered over our faces, and I could tell that in his mind he was trying to remember why he was here. “Ray?” John Carlsen asked, and his wire-brush eyebrows pushed up his forehead. “Ray, you look awful. What’s wrong?” “Morning, Jim,” Pastor Raymond answered blankly. He dropped into his chair. The way he moved was so stunted and mechanical you would’ve had to hold your hand in front of his nose to tell he was breathing. “Ray?” John said, “Are you sure you’re all right?” “Yes, sir,” Pastor Raymond shrugged, but it happened quickly. Not a moment had gone by before his body clenched forward like the breaking of a sheet of glass and he wore a pained expression that even from my position behind I could feel cold and bitter. He hid his face behind his hands – and when he raised them, his eyes swelled pink and wet. “Ray,” John tried. He glanced at those near him, calling for help. “Jesus Christ,” Pastor Raymond mumbled slowly and he looked straight into John with inflamed eyes. “John, you don’t have a clue what kind of man you’re talking to.” We were staring at the front of the auditorium now – all of us, even those who thought better of themselves. “You’re our pastor,” John managed, “you’re a good man – everyone around here knows that.” Pastor Raymond shook his head, rejecting. In the depths of his eyes, the glimmers of white concentrated and bore upon John Carlsen – so intense was his gaze, I worried Pastor Raymond was on the brink of violence. “You don’t know a damn thing, John Carlsen,” he said. “You don’t know the kinds of things I’ve done.” “Course we know you, Raymond.” Poor John. Bless him, he was trying. “Right now it’s time you got us started, okay?” Pastor Raymond started shaking his head like a disagreeable child. John helped him to his feet, hauling him under the armpits and holding him upright until he got his balance on his own. Pastor Raymond smoothed his hands down the front of his shirt, gave one last nod and proclaimed, “I’m fine.” John watched him warily as Pastor Raymond moved away and took to the stage. He looked physically bigger,


heavier then than I’d ever seen him. He pinched the bridge of his nose, cleared his throat. The PowerPoint shined up on the screen, forcing him clumsily aside. As he stepped aside, his left foot bumped the projector – this I’m almost certain was an accident – and as he took a step back, he glanced down at the little machine and something in his face changed. His body seemed to draw into itself. The whole audience seemed to clench in sensing what was about to happen. In a single motion Pastor Raymond brought all his weight behind his foot and drove it into the projector. The picture blinked out with that one kick, and the machine broke against an empty chair with a crash that nobody in the auditorium didn’t feel like a tug in their stomachs. John Carlsen and I intercepted him on his run for the door and dragged him to the ground. * I drove him home. His apartment was set away from the parking lot, around the corner and on the side of the building that faced the trees. I offered to walk him inside. He looked me full in the face, then looked away. “Sure. Sure,” he said. I followed him down the sidewalk and around the building, over the brown leaves blowing crumpled and defeated against the brick. Pastor Raymond glanced off into the trees. Then he pulled his keys out of his pocket and unlocked the door. He held it open for me expressionlessly. I entered the quiet of his apartment, careful of making the smallest noise. Everything sat in its place, undisturbed. Cabinets shut. Table set for one. Floor swept. It was a crummy little place – a place to live in neatly and alone. I stood in the entryway to the small living room and watched Pastor Raymond sprawled on his couch. A pillow

at one end held his head. A pillow on the other end held his feet. And beside the couch was a tray-stand covered by a cluster of plastic containers colored orange, green, and red. Some were sprawled on the rubber eating mat, others were grouped carefully by color along the arm of the couch. “There you have it, Sam,” he said. I shook my head. “What’d you make that up for?” I demanded. “You disappointed?” he asked, eyes on his toes. “Don’t be. Doesn’t matter, because a little sin never matters if some good come of it. You made me a deal – I go, you go.” He glanced up at me, nodded once. “Wouldn’t break your word, would you?” I stared at him, running through things to say, knowing none of them were going to get a thing out of him. But then, he said, “You can believe what I told them, Sam. That monster’s real. Ask Raymond Warles. Kurt Bailey. Tom Maysles. Any of the other names I’ve worn running here to there.” I never saw Pastor Raymond again. * I took Route 3 back into town. Near the juncture of the woods and the quarry, the road curves sharply into a dip untouched by lamplight and shadowed by a dense overhang of branches. You have to strain your eyes to see what’s coming – something in the angle of the road as much as in the dark. For some twenty minutes, I went up and down the same mile of road. On the last pass, I noticed for the first time the most vibrant berry bushes lashing either side of road. I must’ve drifted too close, because when I got home I saw that along the passenger-side door stripes of paint had been scratched clean off like scars.

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Once we heard the bells, we had three minutes. That gave us time enough to race into the house to beg or scrounge for quarters and sprint back to the street before the paletas vendor passed. Under normal circumstances, that is exactly what we would have done. Today though, we heard them, but they did nothing. We just looked at each other, shrugged and sat there. I watched sweat bead on Manuel’s forehead, trickle down and then disperse into his dark bushy eyebrows. We had simultaneously decided that it was too hot for anything, including paletas. Everyday, a row of rusty bells, precariously welded to the handlebars would warn of the arrival of paletas pedaled by round bellied Mexican men with skin the color of roasted coffee beans. Today, the effort involved in getting them seemed to

outweigh the benefit. The bells got louder and louder until the paletas vendorfinally turned the corner from Halsted Street, and began pedaling his homemade bicycle-cooler up 18th Street. Once he made the turn, the bells on his handlebars stopped ringing as he put all his energy into pedaling his top heavy contraption up the slight incline. The cooler on the front of his bike was painted blue. The paint was chipping so that the cooler’s original red was beginning to show through. The word ‘Paletas’ was painted on the side in an attempt at calligraphy. Little ice cubes painted blue and white danced around the letters, but, glaring in the sun, they looked anything but cold. There in the middle, like a triumphant figurehead for the cooler, ’25 Cents’ inside of a circle was painted in red at the front. Casting a distinctive shadow to the side, the vendor’s oversized straw hat recalled his ranchero days. Substituting his


horse for the converted bicycle, he seemed out of place yet strangely at home a mid the signs written in Spanish and the flood of Mexicans that crowded the streets of our neighborhood. Without a shirt, the vendor glistened as waves of sweat flowed down his face and back. His tiny blue shorts were soaked, and judging from his wheezing, it didn’t seem like he could go much further. Just as he made it level with the Gonzales’ front porch, a cop car flung itself around the corner from where he had come, and in seconds was right behind him as he weaved up the pothole ridden street. Impeded momentarily from important police business, the cop car flashed its lights and produced the horrible belching noise that cops use to scare people into paying attention. Making Manuel and I lurch, it made the poor vendor jump up from his bike seat. Visibly startled, he politely pulled his bike over to a spot left open for a fire hydrant on the side of the road. The car sped past, but the vendor had lost his momentum. He dismounted, opened his cooler and pulled out a gallon of water. Then, he hopped up on the sidewalk and plopped his sweaty body down next to a plastic garbage can with the words ‘City of Chicago‘ stamped across. He leaned his back against the rusted chain link fence, and then poured the entire contents of the gallon jug over his head and face. I watched as he closed his eyes and finally content, seemed to fall asleep. This was August in Chicago. “What you want to do today?” Manuel asked, as he picked a piece of rubber sole off of the bottom of his hand-me-down sneaker. “Nothing,” I replied, and leaned back against the concrete step behind me. The heat was all I could think about. It was the kind of heat that made concrete steam, and sent mirages up from asphalt. It made the world blurry, like looking through the top of a toaster. “Come on,” Manuel pushed after another minute of silence passed. “I’m going to get una paleta.” Changing his mind about the popsicle, he got up and climbed the two steps back up, creaked open the screen door that snapped shut behind him as he went inside. I looked over to where he had been sitting and there saw the perfect outline of his butt cheeks in sweat, like a butterfly on the hot cement. After blankly staring at the sweat stain, I sucked in a breath of air that sagged with humidity and started inside after Manuel. Yanking open the screen door, I hopped inside and let the door slam with a noise that said the springs on our hinges were way too tight. Manuel had convinced me about the paletas. Even with just a screen door separating the interior of the house from the searing heat, the temperature inside must have been twenty degrees cooler. Inside the house was dark, and my eyes were still adjusting as I made my way down the corridor towards the kitchen. There were two doors that opened off of the entrance hallway of 818 18th Street. On the left Manuel and I slept, and on the right was the living room. To say that two doors ‘opened’ wouldn’t be entirely accurate. There was a door on our bedroom, but my dad had taken the door to the living room off of the hinges after my mom had mentioned something about the air or the light needing to circulate. At the end of the hall, was the kitchen, dining room and my parents’ room. Just as I passed our bedroom, Manuel came racing down the hallway and flicked a quarter at me as he passed.

“Come on,” he cried as I bobbled the quarter and finally let it bounce off the wall and roll on the hard wood floor. By the time I picked up the quarter, Manuel had already sprinted halfway down the front steps. I raced out after him, but once the screen door slammed behind me, the wave of heat slapped me and I had to slow down. I was panting by the time I made it to the other side of the street. Manuel had already roused the vendor and was ordering a paleta. “Ceresa, por favor,” Manuel said in the perfect Spanish that our mother had taught us growing up, a requisite for growing up in our part of town. The vendor pulled out a cherry popsicle and then looked over at me. I handed him my quarter and ordered strawberry. We each thanked him, and started back towards the porch. The vendor decided to plod on, and instead of trying to ride it, he pushed his bike and once again began jingling the bells. Manuel and I went back to our perch on the stairs to enjoy our paletas and to keep a wary eye on the neighbors. We got along most of the neighbors that were our age. The Olivera’s were quirky but harmless, and we would play kickball with the Sullivans. It was the older kids that would sometimes cause trouble. I looked over and chuckled as Manuel’s cherry red popsicle began melting down his face and dripping down on to his shirt. He had inherited my mother’s dark, northern Mexican skin and it made the red juice less visible against the darker background. My skin and hair were lighter, and my paler complexion accentuated the florescent red of strawberry as I let it drip down my hands and onto the concrete. “Jorge?” Manuel asked as he tossed the popsicle stick nonchalantly down to the sidewalk. “Pick that up!” I replied. He did, and then came back to sit quietly next to me for a few moments before beginning where he left off. “Jorge, why do Tony and Ramoncito do that?” asked Manuel, pointing to the Olivera boys that were kneeling down in the middle of the street. “I guess they think it tastes good, man, but don’t ever let me catch you trying that, it’s real bad for you.” “Yuck,” said Manuel, as Ramoncito Olivera bent down and scooped a piece of melted tar from the street, popped it into his mouth and started chewing. I guess they thought they were big leaguers, or maybe just tougher than the rest of the neighborhood. In summer, the tar would melt. It was the tar that lazy city workers used to patch up the cracks in the streets when they could no longer ignore the winter damage. The tar turned the Oliveras’ teeth black from the end of June to September. It was something that aside from seeming horribly disgusting to my brother and me, had been strictly forbidden by our parents. I remember my dad telling me once that he would, “send me to the moon,” if he ever caught me chewing tar. Ramoncito finally noticed us staring down at him, and with a black toothed grin beckoned for us to come and join him in the road. He pulled a tennis ball out of the pocket of his filthy shorts, bounced it, and called for us to join him. “C’mon, don’t you guys wanna play running bases?” “It’s too hot!” I called back, “I’d go to the beach though!” Ramoncito smiled at that, shrugged, and kept on chewing. I had finally finished my paleta, and had managed to splinter the stick into a thousand pieces in my mouth. I spit them


out off the side of the steps, and in the corner of my eye caught the familiar glint of a blue Oldsmobile. “Grandpa!” I yelled, but Manuel had already seen him, and was bounding down the steps two at a time. I wiped the sweat from my forehead with the bottom of my popsicle stained shirt and followed him to the curb. Grandpa was my paternal grandpa, and his grandpa had come from Ireland. So, by some sort of transitive property, my grandpa, who was born on the north side of Chicago was also Irish. His favorite color was green, and during my aunt Maureen’s wedding to my uncle Frank, my Dad found him watching the Notre Dame game in a third story hotel room. It was hard enough for my Grandpa to deal with Maureen’s marrying a man of English descent. When my Dad said he was marrying a Mexican, well, it took old Grandpa a little while to get used to. Thirteen years later, my Mom was closer than a daughter to him. I’m pretty sure he still didn’t really like Mexican’s though, and he certainly didn’t like the kids we hung around with in the neighborhood. Although he would tell us we should have been brought up somewhere else, it didn’t stop him from visiting. “Hey, Grandpa!” I yelled as he parked his blue boat of a car in a spot that was open right in front of the house. Sun glinted off of the windshield and side window that made it so we couldn’t see in. Rust seemed to be creeping up from the street and eating away at the metal around the wheels. There was only one hubcap, but it proudly reminded everyone that it was in fact an Oldsmobile. Grandpa said it was the best car he’d ever owned. Once he had finished parking, we rushed around to the driver’s side and fought to get to him first. He pushed open the door with a grin, then winced and grunted as he got out of his seat. “Hello my boys,” he said, and we jumped into his enormous arms. As if I had forgotten about it, his smell smacked me in the nose. Overpowering, the odor pushed all other smells out and seemed to take over the other senses. Pressed up against his chest, I smelled his green work shirt that stank with his sweet odor that was a bit like sweet onions mashed in with some garlic. It was always stronger in the summer. Releasing his enormous grasp, Grandpa ruffled my hair and took a deep breath. “I love this weather,” he said, and Manuel and I rolled our eyes. “You love this weather?” I asked. “It’s a hundred and forty degrees outside, Grandpa, you can barely breathe!” “Haven’t I told you guys about the Battle of the Bulge?” he asked, smiling a bit sarcastically. “Jeez Grandpa, yes, we know!” I replied. “It was really, really cold, and you got frostbite, and now you only want it to be hot out, but-“ “Exactly!” he exclaimed. “That reminds me though, did I ever tell you guys about—“ “Yes, Grandpa!” I interrupted. “You didn’t even let me finish!” Grandpa retorted smiling. “This one night in particular,” Grandpa plowed on, unfazed by our apparent disinterest, “Goldstein and I - Goldstein was this Jew from Brooklyn see, that I had to share a foxhole with - we had to use our shovels as axes to try to cut through the ground ‘cause it was so frozen. Let me tell you though boys, when you hear those mortar shells crashing on the trees above you, you dig like you never dug

in your life! Anyway, that night was so bitter cold that Goldstein’s fingers froze. He got sent home ‘cause they had to lop one off.” “Grandpa, we get it,” said Manuel. “We know about the horrible stuff, and the cold, and the Germans, but it’s like a hundred and fifty degrees out.” “Nonsense, this is my kind of weather” said Grandpa, breathing in deeply and taking in the vast and cloudless sky above Chicago. “Now what are you boys up to on a beautiful day like this?” “Nothing Grandpa, it’s too damn hot!” I said, but immediately regretted it. “Watch your mouth,” he snapped, and cracked me on the top of the head with his open palm. I winced. “We’ve been sitting on the steps all day,” said Manuel. “Oh, and we had some popsicles.” “Well, I can tell about the popsicles,” he said, pointing at our shirts. “Even though I love this weather just the way it is, I got a little surprise for you.” He walked over to the trunk of the car and unlocked it. As the huge Oldsmobile trunk swung up, he looked back and winked at us. He shuffled around in the trunk for a few minutes, leaning in until his feet left the ground. Grunting the whole time, he clanged tools together and dropped a piece of copper pipe that pinged as it bounced on the pavement. Grandpa had been a plumber. Well, he still was a plumber, just not at the Cook County Jail anymore. After thirty years of working at facility that held the City of Chicago’s worst criminals, Grandpa had retired. After two months of the retired life, he got bored and went to help my dad, who was also a plumber. My dad didn’t work for anyone though. He did jobs for people here and there, and he said that having Grandpa around helped a lot. “Aha!” yelled Grandpa, and he drew from the trunk, in the way I imagined Arthur would have drawn his sword from the stone, a wrench the size of Manuel. His forearms rippled like Hercules’ as he pulled out the huge tool. I remembered why I used to tell kids at school that if they messed with me, my Grandpa would beat them up. To me he had always been the strongest man in the world. That day in August, drenched in sweat, he looked, and smelled the part. “Well, come on,” Grandpa said as he slammed the trunk shut. He swung the enormous wrench over his shoulder and then began to walk towards Union Ave. Manuel and I looked at each other quizzically. “Umm, Grandpa, where are we going?” asked Manuel. “You’ll see,” Grandpa replied and we kept on walking. There were holes in the sidewalk everywhere. Cracks in the sidewalks widened into giant crevasses. The streets were pockmarked with the holes from missing manhole covers long ago stolen and sold for scrap metal. Dodging holes in the street, we passed Bobby and Katherine Sullivan. They were drawing with chalk on the front steps of their house, on the sidewalk and into the street. “Don’t play in the street,” Grandpa snapped, shaking his head as he walked by. Kate jumped back onto the curb. A bit frightened, she waited for Grandpa to pass to wave at me. Next, we passed the house that belonged to Abuelita. She was an old and shriveled lady who scared me a little. She had a problem though, her house was taken over by her grand kids, and my Dad called them ‘Gang Bangers,’ and we


weren’t supposed to talk to them. Today there were about three kids who were about sixteen that sat on Abuelita’s porch. They wore jeans that were way too big, and they sagged them way down past their butts. They grew their jet black hair long, and they combed it back with mountains of gel. Grandpa often talked about how much he hated those ‘delinquents,’ and stared them down as he walked by. He looked menacing with the wrench. Greasy and glaring, the kids bore holes into Manuel and me as we scuttled passed behind Grandpa. When we got to the corner of Union and 18th, Grandpa walked over to the fire hydrant and popped the cap off. He heaved the wrench into his hands and adjusted it to fit the square bolt on the top of the hydrant. He then stuck out his tongue, wiped his brow with his shoulder, fit the head of the wrench to the side of the hydrant and pushed with all his might. “Grandpa! Isn’t that illegal?” I asked, shocked at what he was doing. “Not if you don’t get caught. We used to do this all the time,” he replied, between grunts. “And if you don’t tell your parents.” After putting all of his considerable weight and strength behind the wrench, the bolt finally began to give. “Look,” cried Manuel, pointing out a trickle of water coming from around the bolt. “It’s working!” I yelled as a torrent of water shot from the hydrant and hit the concrete, sending steam into the air. “Well, what are you waiting for?” asked Grandpa. “Get in!” Manuel needed no second invitation. Shirt and all, he jumped in front of the jet of water that shot three feet out into the street. He was immediately knocked off his feet, and washed backwards into the puddle that was forming behind him. I ripped off my shirt and followed suit. The water cooled us instantly, and squealing and laughing, we didn’t keep it a secret. Within minutes, the black-toothed Oliveras were on the edge of the puddle. The looked at Grandpa, and he uncharacteristically smiled and ushered them. They screamed with delight as the water shot off their back and sent spray in all directions. Mist was everywhere and little rainbows began forming through the water drops. Before long, the Sullivan’s had shown up too. Finally, even the boys that almost never left Abuelita’s porch strutted down the street to see for themselves. Before long, their jeans and oversized t-shirts were soaked. When I looked over to see Grandpa’s reaction to the ‘Gang Bangers’ joining in the fun, he seemed unfazed and looked like he was having more fun than we were. Cars drove by and honked at us playing in the street, people even cheered for us through car windows as they drove down Union Ave. to get to the Dan Ryan Expressway. After about a half hour, the pleasant sounds of spraying and splashing water were interrupted by the familiar belch of a police car siren. Lights flashing, the car pulled off of Union and on to 18th, and two cops stepped out, leaving the doors to their car open behind them. They cockily swaggered towards us, bowlegged and staring, like cowboys ready for the show down. Behind them, I could read the words ‘Serve and Protect’ on the car. Already sweating since leaving the comfort of their air condition squad car, the cops looked more menacing than usual.

“Who is responsible for this?” asked the first one to reach us. He seemed to have directed the question at Grandpa, but it was Manuel who answered first. “It was like this when we got here.” “Yeah,” chimed in one of Abuelita’s boys whose hair covered his face completely. “We found the thing busted.” Turning towards the teenager, the cop flashed a dirty look. “No one asked you,” he said. “But now that you mention it, you little punk, how would you like to go for a ride downtown?” “I didn’t do nothing man, you ain’t got shit on me,” the kid replied, visibly nervous at the threat. “Hey, wait a minute, these kids haven’t done anything wrong” Grandpa interrupted, stepping around the puddle. “It’s hot and they’re just trying to have a good time. They’re not bothering anybody.” “We’ll be the judge of that,” said the same cop. “Who do you think you are?” “Say, are you related to Sergeant Boyarski, down at the jail?” asked Grandpa, ignoring the previous question and starign at the officer’s nametag. A surprised look gradually took over the officer’s face. “Well, yeah,” he sputtered, “that’s my brother.” “I used to work with the guy, good friend of mine at the jail, your brother. I saw him the other day at Sturgis’ Pub.” “Yeah,” replied Boyarski. “He practically lives there. What you doin’ down here?” he asked Grandpa. Grandpa thought for a minute and then replied. “My grandkids live here,” waving his hand generally towards all of us in the water. “Alright, we’re going to have to call the department to come shut this thing down. They should be here in a half hour. None of yous get hurt in the mean time ok?” Boyarski spoke to anyone who was paying attention. “Tell your brother that Pat from the jail says hello,” Grandpa said as the cops walked back to the comfort of their air-condition squad car. They turned the lights off and Boyarski waved as they pulled down 18th. “That was easy,” Grandpa said, turning back to the hydrant. Relieved, we all went back to playing in the cool water. A few minutes later, over the sound of the gushing water, faintly at first, we heard the sound of bells. Manuel looked around for the slight of the paletas vendor. He appeared from behind a moving van parked across Union Ave. Seeing the gathering of potential customers, he pedaled his bike towards us. Grandpa met the vendor halfway, pulled out his wallet and gave the man a bill. It was too far to see what he had given him, but the vendor opened his cooler and handed Grandpa two bags full of popsicles. The vendor then parked his bike, ran over to the hydrant and put his face in front of the jet of water. Sputtering, he wiped his face with his hands and then sighed with contentment. For five bucks, Grandpa bought twenty popsicles. There were only about ten kids in the water, but when he handed them out, Grandpa said we couldn’t waste them by letting them melt. Grandpa even gave one to the vendor. He then did something I’d never seen, he had one himself. He grinned like a kid as pink juice slid out from the side of his mouth and ran down his chin. The cops had said the truck would come in a half hour. It took two hours. After all, we were in Chicago.


The Cause of that Corsage you and the flower Sweet white meat, Twirling and canting In slivers of skin.

the flower I slipped it onto your wrist. you Then you, the charmed potentate, Smiled. what was incarnate in that carnation on your fey carne?

– Anonymous


The Work If I’d been a farmer—

In the winter months, driven in By the drill-bit wind— I’d’ve built you a good chair, A fire to stretch out your socks, And maybe the hope that our love Was a promise To the sleeping Earth that She might reward.

A Farmer Cuts His Field The teeth of the plow

Bite into the black earth Exposing small roots, pale worms, forgotten stones, Buried underground for a year. Safe from the merciless sun, The sharp eyes of birds, The acquisitive grasp of boys,

But you’d known all along That the thing about me, The secret,

These objects slumbered, or lived their tranquil lives underground. But now the yellow tractor runs straight across the belly

Is that I can’t build

of the soft field

A damn thing;

and with one sure incision opens it up with an intimacy

And that I’m a killer,

normally reserved for lovers.

Not a farmer— The killing son of

– Jake Rosenbluth

A military man, The son of the curdling clutter, The work of a seasonless hand. Tonight, as I vanish, and vanish In my vanishing flight, I owe no debt. I owe no labor. I am only as good as My own beating heart, and The heart of my terrible neighbor. – Theo Goa


The Island – Theo Goa

On the coarse, pebbles-and-glass beach, looking out onto the estuary, Elena points with her finger to somewhere in the center of the water—between us and Hart’s island Where the potter’s field houses 750,000. That is where she thinks Carlo, her brother, waved sorrowfully goodbye at City Island, his home, collapsed off his dinghy into the ice-capped Sound, and later washed up onto Hart’s silhouetted beach, behind which the anonymous graves, devoid of epitaph, stretch on forever. It’s been three or four years. Out here, in February things are mostly hiding, everything hiding in that unbearable lightness; the white caps over everything, even the prison on Hart’s, which, cast in white, looks like a wedding cake. Everything smells like nothing, or rotting fish, except everyone on City Island grew up smelling rotting fish, so it smells like nothing; nothing and road salt. At night Co-op City makes more noise than we do, though it’s far away, and it’s dingy echo sounds like a muted trumpet playing in a far-off gallery, infiltrating, from a distance, this town’s squat barrenness. The people move to their jobs in the cold, the cold moves to the job with its venom, snagging their knuckles, their ear-cartilage. The wind mulls about too, sometimes, passing with a whistle along the rusty weathervanes of abandoned boats. February on the Island is murderous; there are diner waitresses who will talk about it for hours. Every winter, for three or four years, it’s the same thing. We stand out on the private beach at night, smoke a cigarette and drink her dad’s whiskey. When her bones are warm enough, Elena points to that spot in the center of the estuary where she thinks Carlo died. Our senses are impotent; the world is impotent and devoid of stimuli; we are dying even in our pea coats and alpaca wool. That constant, salty rot gets mixed in with our nose hairs, and it’s all almost impossible to withstand, except she’s talking, talking about her dead brother again, and it’s impossible not to listen; I’ve been listening to her for years now. She is the only thing above the muteness, the slosh and wind-whistle of a dying city. She tells her story, and I am glad I am not her brother, I am glad I can still smell the fish and hear Co-op City, jazzing in the night.


sic u M

ITALODISCO ITALODISCO ITALODISCO

G DIN EA

R

Vivienne Westwood:

T ES VE IGG B T PEE E

E YL

ST

P

allsaints.co.uk, Sam Leeds’ Burberry rubber boots

34 Years in Fashion

ITE OR V FA RASE PH

Decals on crocs and, crocs in general.

“She’s freaky and I like it”

UR LD YO OU N W UI L O A ?: HO W AY Y PHIC OVIE A L M R P G E’ BIO FETIM I

‘L

INE AZ G MA DLING IN

K

Olivia SHAPE and Redbook as the flint

JoJo

Well, i have a little bit of a thing these days for Kim Deal and The Breeders, but give me The Replacements any old day of the week.

A friend of mine turned me onto Cut Copy the other day and I’m begining to fall for them, hard.

Pornos

Pick up Chelsea Handler’s new book Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. Sedaris for the OK! set.

Well, if I could have anything, it would be Sam Leeds’ Burberry rubber boots but as far as what i own at this stage, I’m really a fan of the outrageous new summer trend, SHORTS!

OK. This Spring I am head over heels for Michael Bastian. If you missed it: > I’d mix these in to cut the granolaprep

im T

Being startled and Archons. In response to “how are you?”... “I’m sneakin’ by.”

british accents, and people who stand still on moving sidewalks.

1.Gucci’s happy medium between Harvard and Harley 2. Missoni for the awesome cardigan 3.Embroidered tees from McQueen 4.D&G’s bleach splashed jeans 5.Lego! On a belt? Thank you, Marc. 6.Nearly every single bag at Burberry Prorsum 7.Lacoste will never run out of stripes. 8.For color, ridiculous American Apparel shirts we all know and love.

“Light in one’s loafers.“

Picks for magazine kindling? Well, if this question is asking what magazine I would use to wipe my ass, I would have to reply... probably the style and art sections of this one. The literary Choosing part is really the anyone only one worth but Matthew McConaughey reading...or even would just be silly. looking at.

Sam

Eion Bailey because Steven Segal already passed on it.

Or this guy.

Any filth they had a hand in.


glochideous (gloh kihd’ee us) adj. barbed; bristly. 19th Century, Botany. glochideous (gloh kihd’ee us) adj. barbed; bristly. 19th Century, Botany.

Act 1. Scene II William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra

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