Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reading Steve Roggenbuck in a Tornado

I got Steve Roggenbuck’s book Crunk Juice in the mail last Friday and I still haven’t gotten over it.

A kind of dreadful wave of tornadoes hit the midwest last weekend. We avoided it for the most part in Richmond, but some folks to the south got hit pretty hard. I heard about one guy whose sister and her husband were killed; the tornado picked up their trailer and spun it around and around and around. Some say it never came down.

I was in the campus coffee shop with my friend Tyler and I was reading aloud from Steve’s book, and Tyler was taking to it something awful. Eventually, we started reading it aloud to each other, alternating, in different tones of voices, different accents. We, too, may have been slightly carried away.

four hours of rain in the corn
i kis you and i dream that i am a raccoon

When Tyler was young, he wanted to be a rainbow chaser. Looking outside after a thunderstorm, he’d see a rainbow forming and think, “I could chase that.” He would imagine leaping into the car and driving towards it, trying to get closer, trying to find where it would end.

This weekend, I imagine there were lots of rainbows. Carpe dime. It hurts to get fucked by god.

When the storm got really bad they made us all vacate the coffee shop and go to the basement of the student center, where we huddled on couches with everyone else who’d been forced from their pursuits to hide from the wind. This did not stop us. Tyler read aloud from Crunk Juice; we had a reading there in the basement. There were several people who tried to avoid eye contact.

Tyler spoke of a time when he was sitting in the living room of his house, alone except for one other person, Joey, and he said, out of the blue, “Let’s go to California.”

They didn’t, not that day. But they could have. I think a part of Tyler might still regret that, although I cannot speak to Tyler’s regrets with any sort of authority.

Tyler is in London now, for spring break. I am fairly jealous of this. He may actually find those two English women I met in Jordan. At last.

Go get Steve Roggenbuck's book. There's no excuse not to. You don't even have to pay (you should though, you want the print version).

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