Friday, January 27, 2012

Excerpt from ZYZZYVA

An excerpt from my story "Get Lost," featured in ZYZZYVA's Winter Issue, is up on their website if you care to sneak a peek.

Here's an excerpt of their excerpt:

Homeless Dude living in the alley across the street has found a creative way to keep warm. It involves a blowdryer and an industrial outlet near the dumpster. Dude spends half his day blowdrying himself. His dirt-gray tennis shoes with the toes sticking out, his shredded MC Hammer pants revealing a scabby pair of knees, his torn Hawaii sweatshirt with what I hope are ketchup stains all over the front. Being the friendless clinically depressed loser I am, I spend most of my free time watching him from my breakfast table three stories up.

“Dude,” I tell him on my walk to the bus stop Monday morning. “You’re seriously going to kill yourself if you don’t stop it with the blowdryer.”

“Why’d I kill misself?” he asks with a gap-toothed grin as he blowdries his armpits. The alley stinks like singed clothes and ancient sweat and the garbage bins he calls Home.

“Because it’s October, and the rain starts soon—” “Gotta cigarette?”

“No.” A lie.

“Gotta quarter?”

“No.” Another lie. I clutch my messenger bag tighter.

“I ain’t gonna kill misself.” He points the blowdryer at me, hot and nasty.

“Stop,” I say, pulling back my hair, which is everywhere.

“Warm, ain’t it?”

“Smells like burning.”

“I ain’t gonna kill misself,” he shouts louder. I hear someone from my building slam a window shut. “Wanna know why?”

“I need to get to work,” I tell him. I turn and walk up the street and regret the conversation.

“Cause I’m invincible!” he screams after me. “I’ll be invincible ’til I die!”

“Sure thing, Dude,” I say under my breath.

I like how on this page they describe the story as "appealingly downbeat." Etch it on my tombstone.

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