Crooked Lamp

crooked lamp and holga

None of the heroes that had ever appealed to other boys appealed ever to him. Neither men who walked on the moon nor basketball stars. Neither famously frumpy scientists nor blind-eyed musicians. As far back as the string of his memory went, he loved the lore of robbers—thieves, burglars, bandits. Whether they were popping their heads out of a green pea soup in a children’s story set in France, or blowing the heads off bankers somewhere around the Ozark mountains in the 1860’s, that was the life for him. He read Franz Kafka for his mind’s sharpening, and Kundera for bravado. And as far as smut and licentiousness went, he never went further than “Ten Indians,” penned, as it were, by Ernest Hemingway who probably banged it out on a typewriter. Before he was shot down in cold blood by the police themselves, his wife was recalled to have said, “He was right there a moment ago. He was right there,” though the timing of when she said this exactly and when he was fired upon remains in some doubt. Mistaken for another, he had been mentioned in the newspaper that printed the notice to have been literary.

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