The Death of a Goat
“My brother was killed like a goat,” Boi said, leaning up against the crumbling concrete wall of the old campsite.
“What?” I said.
“That’s why I didn’t watch when they killed the goat today. My brother was killed like a goat.”
“That’s awful, Boi. I’m so sorry.”
I leaned against the wall next to him, my mind racing with doubts—about if I could begin to understand his situation, if I could appropriately respond, and then, just as quickly, if Boi was telling the truth, if his brother really was beheaded with a knife.
I had not noticed that Boi hadn’t watched the slaughter of the goat with the rest of us that day. Yet he felt as if he should explain himself, as if the absence of his presence was abnormal and required justification.
“Did you watch?” He asked me inquisitively, but with no judgment behind the question.
Read the rest of the story at Whirlwind Magazine.
I wrote a manuscript three years ago, and then somehow have failed to openly revisit, revise, and edit it until this summer. I’ve acted like I was working on it– I’ve said I was working on it– I’ve kept it literally sitting next to my desk for three years (and three different apartments). However, despite this immense mental block which prevented me from doing something, which, had I actually done it, would have taken a minimal amount of time and been two years in my rear-view mirror, I now am, in reality, working it. I spent a lot of time at Starbucks sprawling papers over the bar looking out the window onto stroller-filled Brookline streets, and have marked up where the plot falters, where summary eclipses substance, where thoughts become soft and sentimental and characters exist without existing in the pages. I now want to take those marked-up pages, and try something someone at some point told me in some class I took in my MFA program: When you really need to get down to the details of your work, print it, delete it off your computer (not actually going to delete it), and then retype it. Then you have to recognize and read every banal and meaningless word as you go through it. Then it’s fresh, and new. So, without a near enough proximity to NanoWrimo or anything like that, I’m going to jump into this attempt myself because it will make me do something, whether helpful or not, I can’t really say. Wish me luck, give me tips, try it yourself. Retyping is my new swag. And I’m off.