Saturday, October 31, 2015

West Gray Multi-Service Center Blues

This is not like the stories I usually tell. There are no monsters here, no ancient cults, no demons. There is a whole lot of city bureaucracy, however, and as some of us know, city bureaucracy can be nearly as horrifying as the worst baddies the imagination can conjure.  

This is a story about the West Gray Multi-Service Center. The Center looks like this:
Or, well, it used to look like that, anyway.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Free Bee Stings! (A Prospectus)

“Careening. Yes, that’s it. I like the word ‘careening’ for this. I am a twin and my twin’s name is Antony and the two of us forever risk careening off into literary cliché.

“I assume you know what I mean here. Abel and Cain? The good son and the bad seed? Darkness and light? Yin and yang? Cage and Travolta swapping mugs in that old action flick?

“It’s a really well-worn trope.

“I’ve never liked cliché and I never wished to go careening off into it. I never wanted it because it is bad: Bad to be only half a person. Lousy to possess half a soul. To bomb science class while the other one excels in it. To be the slightly-too-boyish sister of a slightly-too-girly brother.

“I said ‘No thank you’ to that. Never out loud, of course – that would be crazy – but in my life, my actions, my thinking? I said ‘No thank you’ to that from the start…

“…and wound up constantly careening into bad twin clichés.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Heroine, Victorious

I voted today.

The sun came up this morning and it was the first morning for early voting in Houston. And so from my office on Brazos and Dallas, I walked the blocks all the way down to 1001 Preston and voted. Then I walked back.

It felt like some kind of victory.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sleep Tight

Last week, the kids got sick. Then they gave it to me and I got sick, too.

Now, this really never happens. I never get sick. I am immune to everything! But this thing the kids found and dragged home last week, it even took me down. Our fevers climbed so high that music turned architectural and our iphones looked like blurs.

What else could I do? I tucked the kids into bed and I pulled up a chair and told them stories.

I told them stories I’d written (and some that I’d stolen) and I described worlds I’d made (and some I’d visited), and I gave them the sorts of warnings that good parents give their children at one time or another growing up.

One of the things was a story and a world and a warning all in one.

This is how it went: