One from the vault

The vault.I’m not sure anyone else on the planet has taken notice, but I for one have enjoyed a recent addition to this site — the “On This Day in Room 34 History” panel in the middle column of the home page. It is programmed to automatically display an excerpt and link to any posts I’ve ever made on the current date in years past, going back to the earliest days of the blog-ified version of my site in 2002.

Today’s historical artifact is of particular interest. It is a short story I wrote in 2003 called “The Poster.”

It’s interesting (to me, anyway) because I rarely write fiction. I wrote a lot of short stories, and poems too, for that matter, back in middle school and high school, but since then, nothing. Well, almost nothing. Just this one short story, six years ago today.

Why did I write it? I can’t really say. I literally just woke up that morning with the entire story fully formed in my mind. As soon as I got to work — yeah, I blogged a lot at work back in those days; it was my way of surviving a semi-pointless job in a rat-infested basement of an old house in the northern Atlanta suburbs that had been converted into an office — I set about writing it.

It doesn’t happen a lot, but I do occasionally wake up in the morning with a creative spark for some ridiculous project like this. Most of the time I either lose interest or inspiration before I get around to doing anything with the idea. Sometimes, as was the case last week when I got an idea for a second RPM album, I’m motivated enough by the idea that I get right down to the business of executing it, but it ends up not living up to the vision and I abandon it. And on the rarest of occasions, it actually comes together and I nail it.

Well, I’m not totally sure I nailed it with “The Poster.” I sure thought I nailed it right after I had written it. But now, looking back on it having not read it in at least five years, I’m not so sure. It definitely has the quality of a dream where it seems to exist in a small, enclosed world with its own twisted logic. When examined critically as a work of short fiction, it’s probably rubbish (just like the objet d’art it so prominently features), but taken as a recounting of a typically bizarre dream vision, it’s kind of cool.

At any rate, if it’s fiction you’re looking for, this is all I have to offer. Enjoy.