We signed our CDs, of course, and shirts and posters too – usually with a black or silver Sharpie. But we also signed: phone cases, sneakers, reading glasses, Bibles, passports (You know this is illegal, right?), purses, faces (please don’t get that tattooed), armpits, puppets, babies (please don’t get that tattooed, either), feet, shot glasses, teakettles, security blankets, breasts, and once, a guy’s penis (it was not erect).
And one time, in Santa Barbara, Brian signed a girl’s anus.
Everyone was impressed.
I asked him to please throw that particular Sharpie in the trash.
“Perhaps,” she said. “Perhaps. Birds sing in the trees, find their food, mate, build nests. They don’t know anything else.” She looked up at him, drawing the cloth slowly from side to side across the back of her neck. “It’s a narrow life for birds. But you catch one and put it in a cage and you’ll soon find out whether it values what’s it’s lost.”
The old man is… If your principal and your sternest grandparent had a child born on the last day of summer before school starts, and that child grows up in the moment you realise you’ve been caught filching a cookie from the jar. In other words, he exists simply to remind you of all the bad things you’ve ever done, all the things you’ve ever failed at and all the mistakes you will ever make.
The evening sun had rolled down and blown out in a bloody wad and the white, full moon had rolled up like an enormous ball of tightly wrapped twine.
- “Deadman’s Road” by Joe R. Lansdale (opening sentence), The Living Dead by Various, pg. 299