*The Future of Wallpaper* Christopher Jug George

His summer-brown smile haunts me. I sense him now, unlike before, he is closer to me. He is gone.

Month: February, 2019

Giant Green Carpet (King Corn Novel Excerpt)

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Diane eventually walked out a step ahead, then a little further. Terry Regal hadn’t necessarily picked up his pace either. When you believe you’re always going to be able to catch somebody it’s easier to fall behind. But this day was different. She was walking with more purpose, and Terry’s feet were sinking too far into the mud this time. Diane neared the top of the Valley, and he lost sight of her. He ran to the opening and saw her walk into a corn field, when she disappeared all he could see was corn standing as tall as it was going to be that summer, he whispered, “Green carpet. It looks like a giant green carpet. For miles.”

It’s Blurry Now, That Picture

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I will be the ghost that she sees.

I Want to Hear More About Your Alternate Universe Plans

This is my life with him here. My wife is in the bedroom sleeping; my children are in their rooms sleeping. We are talking about the kids. He adores them, he sees himself in them. I see myself in him. I’m old enough to know him.  I’m old enough to realize the parts of me that are him. This is life if he never died.

The Neighbor’s Driveway

Photo by Christopher Jug George * St. Croix River * September 1, 2011

We drove to the country to see reindeer in a valley. I was very excited. It made me think of Christmas and all the stuff I would get. The reindeer were gathered around a feeder and I realized they were just big deer. Then I remembered the day I saw a dead deer strapped to the roof of a car in the driveway next door to our house. I will never forget the way those eyes didn’t look at me.

When We Were Aliens

We traveled to another planet on a rocket ship. It was strange to finally hurdle through space after staring at  it our entire lives. The beings there led us into a structure. There was carpet on the walls, magazines were shaped in circles, pictures were under a clear substance on the floor, the ceiling was transparent, and they were kind to us.

Carnival Sinatra

 

268078592_8e973cba30When I was a kid there was a man operating a ride at a carnival who looked like Frank Sinatra. I walked up next to him as he yanked down a lever and I was convinced he was Sinatra. The ride kicked into gear and Sinatra reached into his apron and gave me a free ticket. He put his hand on my head, messed up my hair and winked at me. The sky grew dark and it started to downpour. The ride groaned and howled in the wind. It sounded like anyone could die at any moment. A nearby carny worker slipped on a thick black cord and fell to the ground. Sinatra pointed at him and laughed out loud to the point of exaggeration. That had to be Sinatra.

The Stand-Ins

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The Stand-Ins

I kept seeing the same two people around town. First in a café, sitting in a booth next to me. They held newspapers awkwardly. Their glasses didn’t fit their faces. They read to each other but didn’t say the right part of the sentences. For instance, one read “…which started in the fall. The Saint Paul man took…” Another strange thing was how quickly they ate their food. I looked to see what they ordered, glanced out the window, and suddenly their plates were white. 

Two days later I spotted them again. I sat on a stone wall shielded by the trunk of a cottonwood tree while I waited for a bus. They moved like effortless spaceships intentionally trying to look wobbly, human. It was unclear to me if their feet fully pushed into ground. As they passed I noticed their unwashed waffle creased clothes.

Let Them Look Through You

We went for coffee with my mother-in-law. It was a walk up place on the boardwalk. The coffee was served in fancy tea cups and my wife said she wished we had cups like that. My mother-in-law looked at me and said with a judgmental voice, “Why haven’t you bought her cups like that?” I told her I’d never really thought about it before.

Star Person

 

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Star Person

In the future she wears a spacesuit and jetpack, she soars toward the moon, her visor reflects my hazel eyes. A tinge of sadness mixes with a larger dose of wonder about times her father may have been lost in life when she was young and did not know.

I think about my father in the early 1980s, wearing Levi’s and jogging shoes. The collar of a plaid shirt above a navy v-neck sweater, his glasses fogging up while driving away from the city, alone in our spaceship silver Chevy Impala.

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