• Keith Banner

3 Stories High

Next three stories on the book:

"Enoch" from Christopher Street, August 1993

"Goodbye Scott" from Christopher Street, March 1994

"Monkeyboy Flies through the Night" from Christopher Street, November 1994

All of these I wrote in 1993 and 94, right out of grad school, just starting my job as a case manager. I just wanted them to be simple, which is my motto I guess. "Simple" in this whole process means narrating with the least amount of words, choosing when you go for the flourish, choosing when to shut up.

All my stories are about things people don't often speak about out loud, or even want to see or read, so it's vitally important to follow that rule of narration without too much bullshit, decor, style. The style is tucked into whatever substance I can find.

So "Enoch" is a memory-flash inspired by a KISS song, about a sad encounter in an attic. "Goodbye Scott" is about secret love finally boiling over into an embarrassing pronouncement that doesn't matter anyway. And "Monkeyboy Flies through the Night" takes its cues from attempts at survival while also continuing to not understand what you are surviving for. All of the characters in these 3 stories are lost but find one moment in which they reach some point of acknowledgement that doesn't alter circumstance. These intense moments happen and then the moments fade and the characters move on without a lot of pomp or circumstance, just a chill and then they put on their coats.

Truth, I guess, is hard to figure out when it's externalized, and in a story it often isn't "truth," as much as words you can't say, experiences you can't categorize, a change that doesn't make any difference and yet you feel it intensely anyway.

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