Thursday, September 8, 2011


I spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out exactly who Uncle Leo is, where he comes from, and who his relatives are. Perhaps he is a father sorely neglected by his self-centered, materialistic children, who think he is nuts for living in a stone house in the middle of nowhere, and are embarrassed to be seen with him because he has such a big mustache. The dopes. They don’t know how lucky they are. They should be proud to have such a father, not ashamed. On the other hand, it’s possible Uncle Leo has no children at all, was never married, and has lived alone in his stone house ever since his parents died, leaving him with a big, beautiful, aching heart and a small inheritance of crockery and dented muffin pans. But there is no way of knowing for sure, because the little story I wrote doesn’t say.

How does
anyone end up alone? That’s the question. We invent new ways every day, I suppose, but the result is always the same. The result is a life full of question marks, which gather by the door like autumn leaves, whispering softly and mourning the passing season. There is no new way to be alone, only an inexhaustible supply of new people to be alone — their anxious faces gazing out in pain and wonder at the streets and fields, far removed from life, or afraid of it, which of course amounts to the same thing.

[From Chapter 16, A Listening Thing]

Note: Through September 22, Cosmopsis Books is offering my novel,
A Listening Thing, at the special price of $14.00, plus shipping.

The first printing is limited to 150 numbered copies.

To order this tenth anniversary print edition
from anywhere in the world, click here.


Geckostone said...

Wow this is powerful, puts a lump in my throat,you have a way with words. Deb

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Deb. I’m glad you found Uncle Leo. He has a special place in my heart. And words — well, I think it’s more likely that they have a way with me.