Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Long Grain Rice

He hoarded bags of rice as the phone rang, as letters poured in. One album ten years before, a song that the masses hummed for a month, most now had forgotten. The answer to interviews, reemergence an unchanging no. He’s walked away. His guitar sits in a closet dust covered. He sits by the window, watching speck-sized people walk the streets, the sun rise and set.

When he was a child, his father had his name etched on a grain of rice, a beach town tourist-trap souvenir. His father, the smile of parenting done right, handed it to him. He didn’t notice that his son’s name was spelled wrong. The souvenir and father now lost. He couldn’t remember the exact misspelling anymore.

I’m not Kurt Cobain, he said in an interview once. I’m not Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix. I’m not addicted, an answer to trivia questions, a statistic. I’m not paranoid, delusional, suicidal. He was fine as long as no one asked him, who are you? That he couldn’t answer.

Fifty 20-lb bags of rice. One day the phone would stop ringing, the letters stop coming. The streets would be empty, the sun gone. Then he could cook the rice, pick up his guitar. Then his name would return to him.

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