Dear Mr. Edgarstein,
I’m really on it this time. I’m just one introduction away from writing the next great American short story. I have a contact at n+1 who is really excited about it. See, I have this idea to write a story that doesn’t start or finish, so to speak, but just continues. By being purely liminal fiction, I think I can do some great things for the Nietzschean project that we are all undertaking. I have a great ending — er, so to speak. Well, I haven’t written anything but it’s about a kid with cerebral palsy or a twenty something with his whole life ahead of him in Brooklyn or an old collector of stamps or a talking cat or something. It’s actually not about anything or anyone. I’m really trying to not put the object first, but, ya know put the continuation of the hitherto un-begun project first. I hope that doesn’t mean this letter is the only thing I’ll ever finish writing. Well, it’s garbage anyway. See, it began with a “Dear” and we all know that means a beginning. It’s seeming more and more like a pressman’s conspiracy that books start on one end and end on the other and all that. Maybe a rolodex? Can you publish a rolodex? No, no, no. I’m putting the form first. I just need a beginning that reads like an ending but is really just the middle. I’m sure you can help. Anyone who once wrote, “The jalopy purred cosmologically like the vast moments preceding the apotheotic unity shattering to earth as the differentiation of letter and tongue divided Him. Pa kicked the engine. ‘Stupid truck.’” knows exactly what I mean. SOS.
Dear Mr. Micah,
I don’t know if I have what you are looking for. You seem like a rising action kinda man if you get my drift. He he. It’s hard to tell. Real hard. Anyway for a good time call 555-3153.
PS. I only write endings. Here are a few if you are interested.
- Tragedy was Tragedy Speringer’s first name. But she’d had a pretty good life after all. I guess sometimes it’s like the popular song says, first names aren’t always reliable plot clues. It was a pretty high-brow song.
- “I always did think Deleuze read like an induction proof without the base case,” whimpered the naked, squirrely sack of diplomas in Frederico’s basement. “Dr. Mollema, that would make Badiou’s subsequent corpus the vacuous foundation,” screamed his interlocutor, covered from head to toe in flop sweat and crocodile tears. “Ha,” ejaculated Mollema, peeling his exposed shanks off the rotten cellar floor. “Now that we’ve gotten niceties out of the way, why’d ya do it.” Frederico snickered at first then broke out in a full rip-roaring laugh, “Gentlemen prefer blondes.”
- “Put your clothes back on. It’s nearly noon and your fifteen children are nowhere to be found.”
- And so it turned out that they really were like two peas in a pod on account of them both being peas and both being in the selfsame pod.
- The door swung wildly like the reproductive organs of a Rottweiler lifting his leg in a hurricane. As the storm brought the levy to its determinable end — it had been built by migrants for circus peanuts and belly rubs — the mutt shivered like a ferociously pendulating door. Out walked God holstering his mean, pearl-handled piece like a divine Elliot Stabler. “Ruff ruff.” The deity wasn’t wrong for killing the mother — though, of course, the irreducible frisson between the normative machinery of society and the de dicto normative apparatus of the Book left them scratching their heads — she had realized it wasn’t her husband at a glance. His only mistake was leaving the daughter, hiding in the closet. “Arrooooo” This summer, “God the Bounty Hunter” and “What if that dog was one of us.” The two hit series return to Lifetime, Television for Women.
- His mentor’s voice rang like church bells in his head. All those years of training welled up like a power bar in NBA Jam. He eyed his opponent. 20 years old. White, of course. Playing a power goblin deck like a real virgin. He would never know his secret. He hated his father. Withering Sprite to attack, tap the Forest Elemental, Spirit Thrust. Game. Set. Match.
- The tiniest peach rolled over. The girl with jam on her cheeks approached greedily. “Saints preserve us,” admonished the peach to a God who was indisposed at the moment. “Preserve,” snarked the sticky-faced youngster in the billowing gingham smock, “preserves.” Her butter knife fell, shearing the fuzz. “Freeze,” screamed David Caruso, “cop-killing is a crime.” “Fuzz,” snarked the peach. He had been in on it all along. “Fruitful,” snarked David Caruso.
- They would always have Paris. Then again it was Vichy France and they were both Jews.
- Wittgenstein was a wreck. “I hate philosophy students.” The madame whipped him again. “They think I’m a relativist or something.” The madame stopped. “Relativist,” as always, was the safety word. “Thank you, Liza, you did well.” “Thinking one is following a rule is not the same as following a rule,” she muttered as she changed out of her liquid latex bodysuit.
- Happy Ever After. Boarstein and Marsh were finally happy. “I think it’s pronounced eh-pi-tow-mee, baby.” Marsh had stopped listening ages ago. “I always thought it was weird I had never said eh-pi-towm but never read eh-pi-tow-mee.”