At The Collagist: “Nearsighted in Northern Cities”

coneyislandhighSometimes, you feel compelled to write a story riffing on postpunk, the Hartford Whalers, losing one’s glasses, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. And thus: my story “Nearsighted in Northern Cities.”

Now the farewells outside of the arena. The perennial invitation to Falk and Patten that, should they ever be in or around western Jersey, they should visit. Will knew that it was implausible: Falk’s professorial duties and Patten’s field research occupied their time to an almost comedic extent. And yet the offer must be made, and must be made annually. A frost-laced wind coasted across Will’s face as he watched his friends walk down the sidewalk. He breathed warm air into his fists and rubbed his palms over exposed ears and mapped the way to Barrett’s chosen coffee spot.


Will made a careful adjustment of his glasses. Åsa’s of an age to watch over herself now, he told himself. Well-behaved, not likely to run riot over the place or open the doors to some afternoon’s revelry.


How different she is than the punks he knew, thought Will.

“Nearsighted in Northern Cities” is also part of a novel in progress — at least it is right now. Will Morgan will make a handful of other appearances in the larger work; Åsa Morgan, briefly seen here, is one of the novel’s central characters. This story takes its inspiration from a number of things — from having my glasses removed from my face at the Narrator’s last show to the fact that, growing up, Pat Verbeek was my favorite hockey player. Essentially? I worked a lot of weird elements into it. Hopefully it all coheres for those of you who read it.

Considerable thanks are due to Matt Bell at The Collagist for publishing this. I’m glad to be a part of a publication I’ve admired for so long.

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