Skip to main content

Featured

no gold (things will have to wait)

There is an old Russian expression for the inevitable moment when your neighbors begin renovating. "Searching for gold in the walls." They say, to describe the epic sounds of drills in ancient concrete. You might appreciate this odd humor, this dark joke, this survival tactic. I am not so graceful a man to wrap my thoughts around it. Those drills and grinders, they shake the very walls of our apartment. Early on Sunday mornings and often long into the evenings they go.

This has been going on for the last four months, maybe more. I stopped counting.

I cannot imagine there are any walls left, that there is an entire open floor below us, the wind whipping through the naked beams and nothing else. That is the only explanation. Or that they break down walls, build new ones, find a flaw, some grand mistake and then break all of the walls down again. Not swiftly with sledgehammers, but with one crappy old drill with a dull bit, mashing away, so that children hundreds of miles away…

Albino (part one)


I began writing Albino two million years ago. I had an editor then, who lived a few blocks away. We would meet for breakfast on Avenue A, quietly forking into home fries as we discussed the structure of the story - the economy of objects. A dollar bill was not just a dollar bill in this story, it was connected to thought and action, to music and transformation. This was the story that told me there was a whole book to dig into, mining for diamonds in the backwaters of America, turning over the ugliest rocks to better understand relationships between fathers and sons.

Last week, I stumbled across a call for submissions - not for a journal, but for a podcast where the work of new writers was read aloud. I thought back to a reading I had done of just the first few pages of Albino - a messy hero's journey,  a young man and a guitar, a man with loss and regret, a man that still had something to lose. That reading went well, enough that I felt a strange elation stepping off the stage in my engineer boots, drinking whiskey later that night at the Cedar Tavern, still feeling those goosebumps from behind the microphone. So, without much thought I went back to that place, in our Moscow living room. I sent the mp3 file to the editors, and moved on to the next task at hand. A handful of days later the email came, that I was going to be their next episode and then as the conversation unfolded, the next three episodes. I got their answer on the playground, with V making imaginary strawberry cakes in the sandbox and N just inches away. There is nothing like sharing good news with the people you are close to. It is their victory somehow, as much as yours. I still remember those empty days, when the victories were so hollow  - and how I celebrated them alone.

Here is part one of Albino, from a collection of short stories I will somehow put out into the world this year, called Papa on the Moon. My thanks to the good people at Sunday Night Stories, for their interest and support in this awkward, personal tale.




If you want to receive updates about how and when Papa on the Moon with be available, please sign up here.




Comments

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs