• Keith Banner

"Heroic." In air quotes.

Next up:

"Traveling, Staying Still" from Nerve Magazine, October/November 2000

"Dear Arrid Extra Dry" from Oxford Magazine, 2002

"After School" from, August 2009

These are the last stories and essay from the past, ones I published in 2000, 2002 and 2009. "Traveling, Staying Still" is one of those weird non-sequiturs that moves through you like nothing, but then kind of makes you stop and realize why you stop. And "Dear Arrid Extra Dry" still kills me; it is about love in one of its saddest and most terrible forms, and yet it's still love. Isn't that weird? Isn't that great? Isn't that very sad? All of the above.

But I want to concentrate on this essay I wrote called "After School." About a guy named Kelson I knew in high school, posh and flagrant and masculine, a tennis player, a flirt. His legacy is my legacy, only I'm a lot uglier and a lot more complacent. Kelson is "heroic" in my world. And I always have to put "heroic" in quotes. He went to Florida, found himself, came back, lost himself, and died. AIDS. That was what it was and yet it was also that song by David Bowie, "Modern Love." It always walks on by. The essay is about me trying to be posh and flagrant and masculine, which never works out. Kelson, patron saint of lost souls. And there's no other way to memorialize him.

This is true love.

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