One of the nicest and most terrible things about life is that each time I think I’m truly at the point where I’ve gotten overloaded and I’m starting to hate all my commitments, something comes along that I truly want to add to the stack. Writing this piece of flash fiction was like that.
It’s my second work for that magical site, The RS 500, the place where writers address each of Rolling Stone‘s Top 500 Albums of All Time with a poem or essay.
This month, I had the honor – and I’m saying that with a true heart – of writing about Eminem’s Slim Shady LP. Although let’s not talk about when it was released because sweet lord, high school was a long time ago when you look at the numbers).
Eminem was a violent genius, furious at his world and lit up by his own tenderness. He felt disconnected from reality and seeing this disconnect when others didn’t made it that much worse. I write about this album, and those feelings, in the context of a long-distance relationship between two lovers – one of whom is deployed overseas.
Check it out: http://www.thers500.com/albums/275-eminem-the-slim-shady-lp-1999/
The following story appeared in my first book (which launched four years ago this week, by the way. Holy shit.). I tweaked it for a recent application and thought I’d post here, since it’s seasonal…
Slowly, I am rocking
I feel the curve of my back against the deck’s wood. My right-hand knuckles scrub gently up and down the zipper on my sweatshirt. I can feel dried salt crusted between my toes. It is a buttery summer night, and this boat and I are gliding on waters off Rhode Island. Seven of us lie on the deck, all looking up, all silent. We’re tired in that beachy way, thirsty and tender from overexposure to air and sun.
Nearest to me, Andrew rolls over. He is English, short and a little doughy. His blond hair is soft and thin, like a baby’s or a duck’s. I feel that if I held my hand above his head, the threads of it would come shooting to attention and follow my fingers, like the static electricity balls at science museums. I am considering these uglinesses, then I notice his serious eyes, and I smile to cover up the jolt I get from that kind of electricity. Andrew is new to this group. He is my friend’s favorite ex. I try to think of the least comely thing to say.