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The Real Work

↑ Really? Yuck. How pretentious. Well, okay. I guess something has to go here. So what about this. There’s this one entry in The Subway Diaries section of the Dreamscapes (April 2, 1996) where Jay Levine marvels about the frenzied pace and energy of his scribbles and wonders whether that kind of take-no-prisoners approach might translate to a more engaging piece of writing, a “story.” Well I wondered that too, and actually I wrote one like that. It was originally published in The Madison Review in 1998 and while it was never my favorite story, or even my favorite published story (in fact, it felt like almost a throw-away at the time), reading it again now, I have to say, I quite like it a lot. Maybe it is the real work, so to speak, slapdash or haphazard tho it might be. There are some disconcerting tense shifts (past, present, who cares?) which I vaguely remember debating with the editor at the time, but ultimately leaving them stet, because I guess he thought it added to the happy scramble of the prose, which maybe it does — but otherwise it seems pretty clean and none the worse for the 22 years in storage. Anyway, here it is. The real work? Enjoy.

Read: “Drag” from The Madison Review, Summer 1998.