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Fiction by
Martin Nakell
'Pex 1' by Ben Tyree

'Reality This Direction'  2008 DK McDonald
'Reality This Direction' by DK McDonald
stories from the city beneath the city

4. roy stevedore

I got myself in trouble, but I knew how to get out of it. The real trouble, though, I didn’t want to get out of it. There’s nothing like trouble to make life real, to make unreal life real, and once in a while everybody needs to feel that life is real. Then, after a while, you’re perfectly happy to go back to unreal life, in fact, the unreal then is the happy. But to forget about the philosophizing for a while to go back to the storytelling which is the point here, there I was, feeling unhappy in the unreal, never knowing what to do about it, when suddenly — well, everything always happens suddenly — until you look back on it then you see how it was coming for a while, building, building, but it always feels suddenly, like Suddenly Last Summer, that was a play I saw once — “last summer” — was coming all along. They didn’t se it coming because they didn’t want to see it. Nobody ever wants to see what’s coming because we all want to just be happy, unreal and happy, that’s how it’s the best. But something’s always coming, isn’t it. Maybe we’re better off ignoring it so we can at least enjoy ourselves for a while. When something bad comes, suddenly, we say, we always say. I should have seen it, something like that. As if, if we had seen it, we could have done something about it, we could have done something to change it. Which we couldn’t. Do anything. Usually. Because no one would believe us anyway. We’d say, We better do this or that or else something bad will happen, but nobody will ever listen because everybody’s busy being unreal and happy and they don’t ever want to change that so they wouldn’t hear us so we don’t listen to ourselves even because we want to just go on being unreal and happy, too. And why shouldn’t we? What’s real anyway, who knows what’s really real and what’s really unreal and maybe it’s the reverse of what we all think. So if the unreal - so called - is the “happy unreal,” is it really the real? And then is the unhappy real - or the happy real - because, come on, nobody’s ever completely happy. Are they? Well, it seems I have been. Even whole periods of time when everything around me makes me happy and I laugh at my troubles even because they seem like a joke. At first you’re a little scared, frightened to be happy. But then even the fear seems like a joke. But anyway it does feel sometimes like something happens suddenly, and there you are, you find yourself in trouble and you find yourself fighting like crazy to stop the trouble or get out of the trouble I mean somebody’s out to get you or some big problem with love or you have to get some money or you have to fight somebody you have to take them on and you do and then after it’s all over or at least it goes away for a time and you look back on it and you see it didn’t come suddenly at all it was building all the time and even you couldn’t have done a damn thing to stop it and you look back on it and you tell yourself how real it was and how real you were but really was it real was that real life? So suddenly I got myself into trouble and I have to admit that I loved it even while I hated it and vowed to fight my way out of it and I did I fought my way out and I guess I beat it I beat the trouble and I have that like a notch on my belt a thing I did and I’m proud of it and I haven’t even told you what it was what my trouble was that came suddenly and that was the whole point of the storytelling but I’m tired of talked about it already and your’re probably you’re tired of hearing about it and what the hell I mean what the hell does it matter it’s all over now and let’s get on with it real unreal whatever.

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last update: February 29, 2008