My upcoming book of short short stories, Shake Away These Constant Days, originated as a project called Our Band Could Be Your Lit, in which I wrote a story under 1000 words every week. To generate this much content, I based the stories on songs suggested my musicians and writers from around the world. The original idea was 100 songs, 100 stories: find the creative common ground between two mediums and cultivating the virtue found therein.
Until September 25th, I'll be doing a blog post a day about the stories in the book. After that, it's all up to you.
Originally OBCBYL #9. On first glance, it would appear that I was merely looking to create a situation in which I could murder a Mexican dude and get away with it. There’s more to it than that, mainly the amount of justice in any level of retribution involving home-wrecking and murder. (And Mexican baseball leagues.) The explanation is simple and involves a healthy amount of cribbing from several sides of the plate.
Dave Eggers has a story called “After I Was Thrown In the River and Before I Drowned” that is narrated by a dog and is pretty damn awesome. It’s a lot more creative than the stuff I write, that’s for damn sure. After I wrote a shitty first draft of this story—it was about twice as long and not in one big paragraph like the final version ended up being—I got totally stuck on a revision. And it definitely needed a revision, as it felt way too slight, even for a piece of 450 word prose. I popped that title up on top and everything sort of fell into place from there.
I don’t consider it a baseball story because it’s not about the game and how it parallels life. That’s the only criteria for a sports story, as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t think this one qualifies. A baseball game makes a wonderful excuse to throw a baseball at someone’s head, which is about the only reason I chose it. And the man who suggested the song, Adam Gallari, write a lot about baseball. I enjoyed his book, We Are Never As Beautiful As We Are Now, and felt like I should reciprocate with a baseball story of my own.
The part where Anne stands up was inspired by the part in The Natural where Iris Gaines stands up. Not that it’s really a rip off—it’s just a simple sentence that’s more connective tissue than anything else—but I always think of that scene.
As for the song itself, it’s haunting. Jesus Christ was a ghost, right? I’m not sure, but there was a strong sense of light-versus-dark that I got from the song, and because I spent all my time researching Mexican baseball leagues—the same ones I’m assuming Tom Berenger’s character in Major League was sent to—I just went with it. If it’s good enough for The Substitute, it’s good enough for me.
Tomorrow: A story named "Follow the Water" that is based on the song "New Kind of Kick" by The Cramps.
SATCD on Goodreads
Pre-order the book so I can rejoice in new days that are real.