Scott Garson ~ Five Fictions


I felt like see­ing a movie one day, and I went, and there were, on the screen, demon­stra­tions of joy and abject suf­fer­ing, the faces huge, like moons. I was cov­ered in feel­ing. I took my place in a crowd of strangers leav­ing the dark­ness, and the light, I saw, was dif­fer­ent in the sky since it was evening, and there was a mild sen­sa­tion, which was avail­able, maybe, to all, of being con­tained, being part of the moment. We were the same, resum­ing our­selves out here, let­ting our faces close around our sep­a­rate bits of intention.



As if your life, as you know it, has been removed for the time being, has left you untend­ed. And you are what­ev­er you touch. And you are what­ev­er you see. Dog. Sky. And maybe the words for them, too, like flut­ter-down pieces of paper.



I like your car, I said. The man said, Trade you. We exchanged keys. Watching him pull the Escalade into the street, my son looked ner­vous. How about this! I said when we had dropped into the seats of the curved con­vert­ible. It seemed like a car that could take me into the future from out of the past. That could har­ness propul­sion. However, it was out of gas. During my wait for a turn at the pump, I guess I fell asleep. I dreamed about high school. A dif­fer­ent high school, though. One whose fad­ing sepia halls were so dark I could hard­ly see. I was lost. In this maze. Unable to find my way. I heard a voice call­ing. Dad!



Taking a leak in the moon­light, on acid, I lose con­trol of sur­faces. Like, belt. Fabric. Zipper. Skin. They stop behav­ing in a way where they are rec­og­niz­able, where I know what to do with them, and how. I’m in a park­ing lot. I’m kind of like a blind man here, except not; my eyes are teem­ing. I tune myself to an imme­di­a­cy: the need for my pants to be fastened.



I feel like I’ve been here before, and it was the same but I was dif­fer­ent. I feel like the last of some day I once lived is still there in the lights of the pier. A hand­bill: local seniors plan to gath­er tonight in the band­stand. They will take their seats and play. And this is for free. You can take your san­dals off and stand in the slide of the froth. Listen to gulls, and drift­ing tubas, which will get lost in the hush of the waves.


Scott Garson is the author of Is That You, John Wayne?–a col­lec­tion of sto­ries. He has work in or com­ing from American Short Fiction, Threepenny Review, Passages North, Kenyon Review, Electric Literature and others.