Word Riot has been kind enough to publish a short story of mine, “The Salad.” If you have an interest in reading about a person struggling to make a salad in an increasingly hostile environment with minimal companionship or know-how and a creeping sense of home invasion, then perhaps, well, whatever. Here’s to _____________.
(Also, I should say thanks to Word Riot’s fiction editor, Kevin O’Cuinn!)
I feel like the weather for the last week has been “implied rain” even when it wasn’t raining. I’ve had the opportunity to wear my hoodie more often than I would have expected. I did not sit around trying to expect some sort of ratio for that. I am reading this Steven Millhauser book, Little Kingdoms, which is a collection of three novellas, and I have decided as I always do that I need to keep reading more Steven Millhauser. You should do so as well, for both health and safety. I also read Miranda July’s short story collection and that book has little rocket ships in its blood. I mean, maybe it gets a little tiresome to read first-person story after first-person story, but even alienation comes in, like, one really good flavor. Or laughter. Whichever it is. I think living forever would be pretty terrible.
The level of construction at the University of Minnesota has reached such a point of fanatical overload that I’m not even sure anyone is in charge. I think construction crews are just showing up and saying, “This would be a good place for fucking train tracks.” It’s like campus is some sort of cultural center for ambitious, self-starting construction crews that just happen to be wandering the country seeking perfect locations to make a shit load of unpleasant noise.
I’m teaching Moby Dick in my summer class. That’s a given. My summer class is supposed to cover American literature from the “discovery” of the Americas to 1850, roughly. So, fine. I am excited by the prospect of teaching Moby Dick. It’s so long and weird and, I think, oddly lean-feeling for such a tome-y tome. Whatever, you get it. Okay.
I was just looking, for no particular reason, at the copyright page of my edition of Moby Dick. It says, “Published in Penguin Books 1992.” And it just strikes me as hilarious.
Like, what if this giant stupid book had originally been published in 1992? Seriously, what if Moby Dick had been written in the late 1980s and published in 1992? I’m not asking you to imagine how different the book would be. I’m saying the exact same book—with its consideration of a dying American whaling industry, its philosophical huffings and puffings, its poetic whatevers—published in 1992.
I’m seriously laughing out loud to myself just thinking of this. Which is perhaps the sign of some early-onset drunkenness. Except that I haven’t been drinking. It’s just the kind of sunny that feels like drinking. And there’s a lawnmower somewhere going hrrrrr—one of the most “somewhere” sounds I can think of.
I hope you enjoy a light, refreshing drink this evening, toasting your—let’s hope—relatively stable planetary and professional standing. Your place among people. And also Moby Dick was first published in 1992.