Absolutely Zeke’s Blues

6 Jul


This originally appeared in Downstate Stories in 2006. It’s a strange mainstream story or perhaps slipstream, deptending on how you see it.


Monday night at Captain Ahab’s, six customers were in the bar, and one was applauding after each song I did. But then I knew him, and he probably wanted a ride home. He lived a few houses down from me, and that January in Carbondale, if I played on the strip, Westbound Slim usually caught a ride home with me.
He sat with some guy wearing a phosphorescent orange hunting coat and cap. Like his clothes, the stranger’s eyes glowed.
I joined them on my break, and Westbound Slim introduced his companion as Zeke. They resumed an argument they were having. While Zeke quoted Scripture, insisting we lived in the final days, Westbound Slim scoffed.
I listened to their accents. Westbound Slim looked like a…

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