Post Road Magazine #25

A Local Myth

Joseph Fazio


He was the druggie who liked heavy metal. The drawer of occult symbols on brown-bag-covered schoolbooks. The teen whose family slept soundly. The creeper out of back doors. The user of LSD who watched the stars shift until morning. The only survivor of the night the furnace leaked carbon monoxide. The satanic murderer of mother, father, and brother. The loner who lived with his Gram in the black house by the woods. The ward of the witch who carried a cane and wore her hair like a man. The paperback reader in the forest.


He was the guy who went home on the weekends. The avoider of parties. The coworker of an English major with cat-eye glasses. The bringer of coffee and almond croissant. The creator of pen-and-ink tattoos around thick ankles. The sharer of a bed and a blue cat. The grad student hidden behind towers of texts. The quiet almost-professor. The believer that bearing children was a cruelty. The potential husband with whom there was no future. The type to grow colder as the years passed. The sole occupant of a near-empty apartment.


He was the introducer of philosophy. The belaborer of Kant. The clean-shaven lecturer. The anomaly in the eyes of a sepia-haired young woman. The teacher who held office hours at the bar over chicken fingers. The mentor with the queen-size mattress. The gray-templed rogue. The colleague who really ought to be more careful. The asshole who would pay for this. The former adjunct.


He was the prodigal. The son of a grandmother. The inheritor of a modest estate. The taker of odd jobs. The grower of marijuana. The friend of adolescents who hated their parents. The provider of alcohol and a place to stay. The intoxicated host unwary of the new arrivals. The bloody mess who was robbed and left for dead. The sufferer of a sixmonth headache. The victim of a quick succession of seizures. The sudden epileptic. The grateful recipient of social assistance. The subsistence liver. The little-sleeper. The wraith in the moonlit window. The neighborhood ghost story.

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