(Sailboat Books, 1976)
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.
The Finks - "Emma Again". A book of short stories, sitting on the bench at a bus stop. It is just a little paperback, bright yellow cover, and after a while you pick it up because the bus is late. The book feels good in your hand; feels just right. The sky is clear as a perfume bottle, blue, you think to yourself wanly, as the Librarian's eyes. Lately you have been obsessing about the Librarian and you have been quietly enjoying this obsession - you are not sure how much you are being ironic when you type and delete and re-type the Librarian's name in the Facebook status update box. You just know that you always close the window.
Now you are at the bus stop with the little yellow paperback. It feels good in your hand so you flip open the cover. A story called "Emma
Again". You squint at that title. "Emma Again". Someone has taken a ballpoint pen and crossed out the word Again. You shift on the bench and cross your legs. You start reading the story. It is a story about new love. It is written in a fumbling, bumbling style, like the author does not have a full command of the English language. You flip back to the cover. "by Emma D----". Is Emma writing about herself? Is the narrator deliberately clumsy? Is this meta-fiction or whatever? The back of the paperback doesn't have any information, just a publisher. You wonder what the Librarian would say about this book. Would they know all about it, just from the author's name, the publication date? Would the Librarian be able to quote back the opening line?
You keep reading and on the third page you find another word has been crossed out. In fact it is the same word. After a while she said I'll go home
again. You pore over the rest of the pages. Throughout all of "Emma Again", every instance of the word again has been crossed through, in a wobbly blue line. Why? It is a mystery. You look up - the bus is coming. Its orange lights shine through the morning mist. This little paperback is a mystery, a mystery, and you clutch it happily. You're so happy to have found a little mystery. You rummage in your pocket for a bus token. Later you will see the Librarian again and you will have this book in your raincoat pocket and the mystery will give you something to talk about. A loose thrill rolls around in your chest. You are a bit embarrassed by the somersaulting thrill, the fuzzy heat of it - you don't even know if you even really like the Librarian; but you try not to overthink it. You squeeze into the bus and try to find a place where there's room to stand and also room to hold the yellow paperback in your left hand, thumb wedged in the spine, to read. You will read the whole story, while the bus rolls and shudders, again and again and again.
[The Finks on Soundcloud]
Posted by Sean at October 1, 2012 11:06 AM