Touching Robert Coover in Providence

Suddenly I remember my trip through the U.S. in 1980: no cells; the locked dials of the Bakelite phone next to the motel bed. 70s colors everywhere, today’s retro was still just yesterday then. Driving through New York State aglow in autumn leaves. A racoon sneaking out of the bin; the large eyes of the Spanish scientist, as round as her untouchable breasts. The college friends of my sister, who thought me exotic; I’d only just begun to feel right in my body. The subterranean steel chambers of the particle accelerators. Cornell’s slumbering meadows. The Jewish daughter of a painter from Montauk who had died too young. Making love in a souterrain full of abstract art, dominated by red rags, guilt-free games, sputtering sex. Afterwards: vows that we didn’t believe ourselves. Three days of amnesia under a silk duvet. The transfer of the spirit of experimental literature through the moist hand shake with Robert Coover. The scent of witch trials still in the air. I took Providence with me as an omen when I flew back home to Hamburg. In-flight entertainment brought Bedtime for Bonzo with Ronald Reagan. The movie put me to sleep. I dreamt that I had become President even though I was just a primate, but nobody seemed to pay attention.

In another life, Marcus Speh had many frequent flyer miles and difficulty sleeping. In his current life, he lives in Berlin, stays on the ground, sleeps well, and blogs at Nothing To Flawnt. His short fiction has been published in elimae, kill author, Mad Hatters' Review, and elsewhere.

Category: Trips

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