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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Life Lesson

Story by Damian Dressick (Read author interview) December 23, 2010

art by America Martin

It’s 1972 and the war, unpopular now even in the suburbs, sputters on. My father, not a Buddhist monk, nonetheless flirts with self immolation. Slumped on our blacktop drive next to the Roadmaster, he’s poured a quart of Fleishman’s gin down the front of his chest and his left hand toys with the wheel of a Zippo. “Alice,” he shouts to my mother. “Alice, get out here.” When my mom, beehive blond and rayon-ed, comes rustling through the screen door, he smears some of the gin into his hair, a splash across his whiskery face. “Have this baby,” he tells her, “I swear I’ll go up like Dresden.” Even as my mother sprays him down with the garden hose, calls for my uncle in the house across the street, my father is laughing. “I can do this any time, Alice,” he says.

About the Author

Author of the forthcoming story collection Fables of the Deconstruction (Spire Press: 2011) and two-time Pushcart nominee, Damian Dressick’s stories have appeared in more than forty literary journals, including failbetter.com, Barcelona Review, McSweeney’s (online), Caketrain, Vestal Review and Alimentum. He can be found online at www.damiandressick.com.

About the Artist

America Martin is a Colombian-American fine artist based in Los Angeles. More of her work can be found at www.americamartin.com.

This story appeared in Issue Thirty of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Thirty
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