THE CROAKER by Scott Nicolay
“Suddenly they were lost in a labyrinth of almost,…”
Dream of mutated ‘burbs’ — echoing Donna’s nipple bubs when Michael and her were growing children and these suburbs were almost unchanged, like the Croke park where all the restrooms have now been opened 36 years later. And the “boobs” in the gutted Playboy magazine, gutted like the bullies gutted fish, and fish ate dead ducks or vice versa, and where these bullies rifled Donna, and Michael ran away, scared. Well, he was only 11. This feels like an ever-memorable archetypal story, a palimpsest of past and future, whereby Michael has traced Donna by Facebook after 36 years and he still recognises her, and they meet in a restaurant to be somehow forced to recall those memories together, the trolls under a bridge and a dam’s lake before renewal began, and guilt swept away by a denial of it ever happening, but now rehappening! And who is telling this to whom? A deadly collaboration foretold, thus archetypal. Where a storified monster is used to conceal a real monster? A story I somehow had within me before I read it. Carp and Stonehenge. Donna who wondered what it was like to have a cock. “…his right elbow striking a rock,…” a story with no info dumps, but far worse evacuations of what we gather happened. And what had already happened many years later. The middle years taken out, like a car’s booster chair unstapled.
“absence of evidence was not evidence of absence”
Full author collection context of this review here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/04/26/and-at-my-back-i-always-hear-scott-nicolay/