My thanks to Virginia Baily and Sally Flint, editors of Riptide Journal, which just published a short story of mine, “Cadillac.” Here’s the introduction and a link to the magazine below.
He reads his essay to a half-filled room at eight in the morning, and everyone says it’s fine. One of his first graduate students, now a successful English professor at a top state university, comes up afterwards and says, “that was good, Charles, really good.” A person he doesn’t know, but who sat in the front row and nodded off twice during the thirty-minute presentation, also shakes his hand, says “very good, Professor Lindsay. Most informative.”
The day gapes at Charles. He once enjoyed conferences, but now the panels and schmoozing feel like sessions on the expensive rowing machine he and his wife never use any more. At last year’s conference he gave his paper in the morning, then laid on his bed in his hotel room all afternoon and evening, read, ate a room service dinner while he watched football, called his wife Valery and told her he loved her, how were the kids, good, good, glad to hear it, I’ll be home soon, then turned in early.
He looks at the conference schedule. He could go to one of the ten o’clock sessions. “New Perspectives on the Post-Utopian Novel.” He recognizes one of the paper givers, a scholar with whom he’d had some helpful correspondence twenty years ago, when Charles was a freshly-minted Ph.D. applying for assistant professorships. Or he could walk through the hotel foyer, greet those who wave or come up to him to congratulate him on his new book, which everyone will say is really good, then walk out into the Raleigh sunshine on a late September morning.
The Cadillac is long. Its red color and dial-infested dashboard scream “Excess!” Charles Lindsay loves it. He drives it out of the rental agency parking lot with one plan, which is not to have a plan.
For more, go here.