Here is part of a story that I have been working on for a couple of months. It is from the point of view of an unsuccessful writer. Lika hera hera go:
published a couple of times. I even won a contest in a magazine for a story about a hippy
playing the bongoes. I’ll
summarize it for you: The hippy’s
dog keeps barking and barking, yap yap yap, while the guy is there trying to
get into a groove on his bongoes.
But the hippy has to keep stopping to correct the dog. The first time he says to the dog,
“come on man," in kind of a whiney voice. But
when he tries to play again, the dog starts barking, so the hippy gets a little
mad. He snaps at the dog “shut up
Leonard!” And okay, the dog is quiet, he has learned his lesson. The hippy starts playing
again just for a minute to where he is really getting into it. His beeds are rattling and his head is
shaking. His hair is flying and
he’s looking up at the sky for that moment, for that one thing, that clear
tunnel that sucks you in like a vacuum tube and your just some light piece of
dust. He’s looking for it. When he’s right at the edge (its like the lip of a glass, all
rounded over and he see’s it like a blue horizon) the dog starts yapping again. The hippy throws down his bongoes,
snapping them apart, and kicks the dog hard in the side.
The story was
published two years after giving up on graduate school, in a pretty obscure
magazine that I don’t think exists anymore. I got the idea when I overheard my neighbor doing pretty
much what I described. I had just
returned from some place that I can’t remember. Work probably.
I was maybe thirty. I
was feeling pretty dismal, though thinking about it now I can’t say why I was
so sad all the time. The piercing
yelp of the dog when that hippy kicked him in the ribs made me laugh out
loud. I was delighted to see
someone who was wearing the uniform of tranquilty acting so viscious, so full
of wrath. I can’t remember if I
thought of myself as the hippy or the dog. We switch sides that way.