Luminol

Oh, and as for the upholstery—well, let’s just say a forensic technologist would have found a diaspora of human DNA (the majority of which was mine) scattered throughout the interior by way of sweat glands, mucous membranes, tear ducts, blood vessels, urinary and fecal tracts. In fact, somewhere near the middle of the back seat, dried traces of spermatozoa would have glowed green upon exposure to luminol and black light. Indeed, as far as stains go, it was as memorable as it was invisible; the result of a tryst with the girl who worked at the gas station I frequented, and when the end of my shift coincided with hers, I’d drive her home for free, because I liked the way her pale blonde hair fell about her face, and I liked the mischief in her eyes, and one night, halfway to her parent’s house, she said that my newly grown beard made me look like Dostoevsky, and then she laughed because she saw my eyes darken with the snares of vanity as I envisioned the author’s portrait on the cover of Crime and Punishment and suddenly found myself doubting the innocence of her remark, which was, of course, a compliment, insofar as it had been inspired by something I had said to her on a previous occasion; a rare admission of mine; a secret desire that I rarely voiced for fear of appearing pretentious, or worse, ambitious, however, had I not said it—had I not spoken of my precious little dream to one day write a novel, then her hand would not have found its way over to feel the whiskers on the Russian part of my face, and she would not have motioned for me to turn into the entrance of a wintry lakeside park, and we would not have come to a stop between the cloistering drifts of snow, and this paragraph, ensconced within the pages of my precious little dream, would not have been written.

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4 thoughts on “Luminol

  1. Hi A.,

    So I like this paragraph for a couple of things, first and foremost it gave me a reason to (once again) consider all the options for grammatical pauses. I think you got ’em all except two of my favorites: the full-blooded colon and the ellipse. I have always hated the semi-colon. It somehow seems deformed, a hidden child of the colon. I love the ellipse. I imagine myself walking along the little dots, jumping from one to the other, finally reaching the other side of the break. If you can, look into finding a place to put a colon and an ellipse. The other thing I like is the fact that it is a single sentence. Those are really challenges for the reader. Joyce and Marquez have long ones. I googled the record and it is about 14,000 words in something called the “Rotters’ Club”. Time calls it “brilliant”. I have decided that a lot of critics call books that are indecipherable brilliant so people will think the critics are brilliant as well. It is a circle jerk of brilliance. I try to read David Foster Wallace and I get bogged down. I feel sorry for him since he had a bad case of depression, but then that fits into my theory about fucked up people being great artists. For some reason, the weirdness of Marquez has never scared me off…the long rambling histories. I think it is because of his use of metaphor. I stagger upon them like pools of cool, clear water. I have made a sort of breakthrough in my writing. I have simplified it. Here is a cutting: “This is not Chapter One, but it used to be. I had it on a three hook trotline in the Rio Malverde, but it got away. When I waded out into the current to take it off the line, it slipped out of my hands and headed for the bottom of the channel. The sparkling surface of the Rio Malverde applauded as Chapter One swam away.” Thanks for your paragraph. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Duke, I like your first chapter.
      Regarding Marquez et al…I alluded to the ambitiously, if not pretentiously long sentence (as if writing a novel weren’t enough already!) which as you say is a feather in the cap of much greater writers, in hopes of inoculating myself against the necessary and not so necessary evils of its grammatical pathogens: the semi-colon being one of the more virulent; all the while knowing how foolish this little experiment would appear, yet, I suppose I had faith in the reader’s ability to appreciate the irony, that is, of course, there to distract from my impoverished command of metaphor.

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    1. Thank you Jan, the other day I spent a little time searching fb for the girl this bit is based on, and she hasn’t posted since 2011, increasing my affection for her while at the same time sending my curious mind off in all directions of wonderment.

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