Monday, October 05, 2015

New Story

So today isn't a total wash, here's a story I've been working on for the last week.

Iceberg Lettuce

Though it will deny all knowledge, the local army encampment offered local residents of the town an experimental hallucinogen. The young people were the first to partake, drawing incoherent, but at the time meaningful boxes and circles on yellow legal pads. Older residents were more wary of this experience and the forms you had to fill out to get it, but they eventually came around to it.

My partner and I were different.  Everyone knew we were living together and said nothing about it because we said nothing about it. I said nothing about the fact that he tasted like ranch salad dressing sometimes during our obligatory makeout sessions. This may have been for the fact that he was quite fond of ranch salad dressing and iceberg lettuce, but I felt he was limiting himself, dietarily speaking.

We were both too reluctant to try the suspiciously tiny blue pill. Everyone was doing it, but not us. You got two doses and two doses only. We never knew why they picked us anyway. Sure, the military was a career for many a resident of this tiny little Southern town and indeed my own partner’s father was a Vietnam Vet, but neither of these factors.

Mostly it was because there was money in it. Only a few hundred dollars a trial, but ever since the mill closed, unemployment has been high. There are no new jobs and the prospects of a better life seem grim. Pickings are slim. No one can afford to turn anything away. 12.5%, 13%, 14.5%. It ticks up all the time and keep ticketing. Everyone is hungry for something different and they want out, but not all of us can abandon this hamlet and leave it a ghost town.  

We inherited the house with live in from my grandparents when they died. I wish I knew how maintain his vegetable garden but I always keep the grass cut. When he was alive, it sported a deep green color, but not is a bright shade of red. Sometimes you have to do something different. It’s not exactly prime real estate and I remember the way he tended to bee stings, by unrolling a cigarette and affixing the tobacco with spit. It didn’t really help, but you always pretended it did.

The talk of the town was the army installation. At first you thought they’d starting camping for no good reason.

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