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"Hip Game", excerpt

Sunday 12/29/19

A new week begins. It is quarter of six in the morning. Already I have arose and composed a new story, called "Hip Game," which is excellent. The last two stories--"Push Shadow" and "Loading the Shaft"--totaled over 10,000 words, but I remain exceedingly interested in locating narrative in its most elemental, essential form. The story is 720 words. It's a kind of monster story.


***

Creature Double Feature was a show that came on early Saturday mornings. Each program consisted of two monster movies, a combo of a black-and-white Universal film, a color-saturated Hammer picture, a rubbery-Godzilla flick. I only ever watched Creature Double Feature at my grandmother’s house, when everyone was still asleep.


I had two grandmothers, though I guess in reality I had four, being adopted. A good grandmother, who was pleased the people I would call my parents had taken me home, and a bad one, my dad’s mom, who called me a bastard freak. I don’t think she would have called me that if I had been adopted when I was a baby instead of when I was ten, but I am not sure. I acted in plays at the orphanage. Plays were my thing. I tried out for local productions that featured kids and that is how my parents first saw me. I was performing.


My dad and his sister were close. My parents took a trip with my aunt and uncle once a year. My cousin Casey stayed at my grandmother’s, too, when our parents left, but she didn’t like Creature Double Feature. Before she got on the couch with me she would put in a VHS tape of Easter Parade because she loved Judy Garland. I think she thought she was going to be like Judy Garland. There was lots of room and my grandmother would not get up until after ten, so we really could have watched both, but Casey would get under the blanket I had instead of sitting on the other couch and say, “My feet are cold,” and I could feel that they were through my sweatpants when she pressed them up against me.


Sometimes at night she would come into my room and get in bed. I used to get on top of her when I was ten and rub. I was acting and not acting.


“Bet you like that,” I would say, and she’d say, “sure.” It was never “yes,” it was never “no,” it was “sure.” She missed a lot of school when we were twelve and my parents said to be nice to her, as if I had been a dick before. Her parents got divorced. My uncle wasn’t my uncle anymore. His name would not get brought up around me in our house. As if it were infective. I didn’t think they had merely gotten divorced. My questions would have been answered otherwise, if only dimly. Caliginous was a word that Peter Cushing used in two different gorgon pictures.