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 #25. In the middle of his wife telling him something, my 76-year-old buddy, Frank, turned to me and said, “If I’d strangled her on our wedding night, I’d be out of jail by now.”
This is one of many reasons that Frank is a wonderful man. Lately, his health has been shitty, and he’s had trouble getting through the jokes he normally told me—some clean, some with a punchline that goes something like “Lift your head up, idiot, you’re licking the carpet.” I would trade this story, most stories, to have him back in prime condition. As such a deal is impossible, I’ll settle for this as a tribute to him.
The one or two times I’ve met his daughter, a woman old enough to be my mother, I noticed her never finishing his jokes for him, but always knowing where they were going and still being surprised, still laughing at the end. The daughter of the Frank in the story is more affected due to her father, a sort of pixie dream girl who is more of a prankster than a mess.
I had trouble with the song and, admittedly, pinched very little from it. The title and a sense of danger are the only things, and neither of them really comes in until the end. I hadn’t written a sweet story in awhile for fear of sentimentality leaking in, and if this story works at all, it’s because of the real power of an absurdity that has nothing to do with me. The suspension necessary to disappear into a life that isn’t just not our own but is, in fact, no one’s, is a quality with a high possibility of resolving itself in joy. (Or drug addiction.)
Tomorrow: A story named "B Sharp, C Flat" that is based on the song "Bicycle Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle" by Be Your Own Pet. Suggested by writer Kevin Wilson.
SATCD on Goodreads
Pre-order the book and stop practicing.