I wonder, he said, what is the word for crow in German.
Against the drain, Sirka said.
What they wanted, he said, was to eat sweets, the gooier the better,
and send each other jokes, and commiserate. The jokes were in bad
taste—forms abandoned 40 years ago; yet there—among
my colleagues—the forms hung on.
It's the same everywhere, Sirka said. It was the same for me. Exactly the same.
It's not a sure thing, he said.
Some things, Sirka said, are uncertain.
I knew a guy, he said, and this is no shit, that guy was named Bell.
It's a name, Sirka said. So what?
I think, he said, you should record my point. Take it seriously.
I'm not recording a goddamn thing, Sirka said. If you want, you can go
If I want, he said, I can stay away.
Fatso Mallou did that years ago, Sirka said.
You're not supposed to call him that, he said.
Why not, Sirka said. He's dead. The never-minded dead never mind again.
What's that, he said, the backwards of love?
Everybody does something, Sirka said. Everybody gets something.
Sometimes they fit.
Suppose, he said, they are transfigured.
Like a designer baby, Sirka said.
Did you think, he said, this was a conversation?
Greg Mulcahy's latest novel, O'HEARN, won the FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize
and was published last spring. His other books are OUT OF WORK, CONSTELLATION and CARBINE. He lives in
Read more of GM's work in the archive.
Detail of art on main page courtesy
W i g l e a f