by Scott McClanahan
Tyrant Books, November 2013
200 pages / $14.95 Buy from Amazon
Today was a day I skipped lunch for Newcastles. It was 83 degrees outside and I nestled into a lawn chair with Hill William and a shirtdress that had no pants. As soon as I started and the beers grabbed hold I wanted to tell someone about it because EMOTIONS so I thought I would tell Siri. This is what she said back because she is like a parrot. Exactly like a parrot because parrots aren’t exact and can’t get everything right. But luckily there is a cage around them so you can’t hurt them easily.
I’m going to drunkenly live Siri Scott McClanahan’s Hill William
The first story is called psychiatrist and Mountain Dew about Scott hitting himself in the face I love that I love the idea of Scott hitting himself in the face I love the pain behind that I’m jealous that you never hit myself in the face
Feel bad for Sarah and this is because I’ve been in that could’ve hopelessness you’re falling insider well what go even though you want to keep them tight
The joy of sex I was in my father’s closet and had the same illustrations and I would hide in my dad’s deposit and stare at the pages notebook so many so many times
“Derek started showing me things to make me cool”
Towards the end of the story Scott right “I told him no and went to the other room I walked over to the door and look Stolper things on the anger walls like deer antlers and Squirreltail’s and fake paintings hillbillies always good for a couple of dollars at the Dollar General “I stopped I stopped on the phrase anger wall and I can’t get anger wall out of my head
What is an anger wall I want more about the anger wall baby Scott gets a baby blowjob and give the baby blowjob right after that part but I’m still thinking about the anger wall
The next story is called Rienow and now I know that the anger wall this because Derek’s last name is anger now I feel like I need to write a story about something called an anger wall whenever that is
“And oh if I can only tell you how beautiful it feels to be a 12-year-old boy unwanted alone in the world and happy shirt off writing your bike in the mountains”
The two things I liked about the story Reynell was the ending the last paragraph was beautiful and the part about gutting the deer I watched a pig gutted once and I remember the guy grab the pics testicles and squirted at us and we ran around handicaps ordering the modest I didn’t know picks testicles could do that but they did
Connect stories wonder woman underoos
“They were listening to kept playing they didn’t care they kept looking at me they didn’t know there were things waiting to hurt us even then playing with her friends in the snow”
I like wonder woman under because when I was little my mom like crazy too I don’t remember getting any presents but she did give me handful of silver dollars to go get ice cream from the ice cream man that was after she made me light all her cigarettes on fire in the fireplace
The story Vasoline about the fat women reminds me of the one part of my book believable with a guy dreams of being immersed and fat women in large woman and giant women
The next story is but there were good times two and it made me sad for Gay Walter and for the box turtle my brother put firecrackers around kittens snacks and im sad about that
The next story picking blackberries is fucking ridiculous hit made me cry
The screen the angels was a fucked up story I want to know what’s going on in the bathroom
“The day I met Batman he walked like he could with the hell out of all the bad things in the world” oh God the ending! “ I walked away and saw that that man was just a stupid guy dressed up in a rubber suit just as afraid as I was in that I lived in the lost place inside my own heart breathing Batman couldn’t help me”
The story church “listen to the voice of hero Scyphers enjoys Handshoe that sounded so ugly alone but if you put them together they sounded so beautiful and there was something about this voice is so ugly by themselves but beautiful together that seems like the meaning of the world to me”
The football bastards good for you Scott make those fuckers puke
That was about half way. That was when I stopped stopping to Siri and kept reading. The whole thing wrenched my heart.
This book was about my childhood. I didn’t know other people had these secret things too. Let alone a boy. Let alone a boy that became a man that became a husband that became a father. How does it all transfer? How does it make its way into who you become? I am not in therapy. I don’t take pills. But sometimes I drink too much and the majority of my stories are ugly to look at.
HERE ARE THE SIMILARS: My mom went crazy too. I had a Derrick. I had a guy that beat a Gay Walter to death that later shot himself in the head in the fort in the gulley behind our school where I had my first French kiss. I have been a Fatty Patty AND a Sissy. I have picked blackberries, hid in closets with The Joy of Sex and have been a boy riding a bike with his shirt off.
This book was a necessary thing. A merging of what used to be and what is. All of it, the same. Oh, how the early things shape us! Giving us markings we can barely see, even under the black light, but are nonetheless there, digging trenches, being cruel, . Scott McClanahan reminded me of this with Hill William. Reminded me that I am not alone and that sometimes shit fucks you up and you had no real choice in the matter and that’s really tragic but oh well, WHAT THE FUCK CAN YOU DO.
Hey, Scott. Thanks. I will buy you a drink the next time we hang out.
xTx is a writer living in Southern California. Her work has been published in places like The Collagist, PANK, Hobart, The Rumpus, The Chicago Review, Smokelong Quarterly and Wigleaf. “Normally Special,” a collection of stories, is available from Tiny Hardcore Press. Her chapbook, “Billie the Bull” is available from from Dzanc Books. She says nothing at www.notimetosayit.blogspot.