Literature is a morgue: I go there to identify my friends. One of them evaporated yesterday, March 6, 2013. The last pic he nailed through the ether toward me had his Woodstock cherry red 335 erecting from the lap into the skies. I was, obviously, born ten years after him, yet that tiny space in time made no difference.

If one were to study history thoroughly, one might decode many baffling current events. Doubtless, Woodstock was for Boomers what whorehouses of Alexandria were to those stiffer than a four-Viagra night with Sheryl Crow. We stirred up the bonfire back then, these days we provide ashes.

I came back from London in the summer of 1973, and proclaimed: ‘I had a few shots with Him at the Marquee!’ My friends studied me as if I’d been granted weekend release from a correctional facility specializing in incurable psychiatric malfunctions. People do have hard time believing the true stories, but they take any bullshit for granted; the herd mentality doesn’t take Matthew 7:6 for an answer (Don’t cast your pearls before swine). I turned around and faced those bastards, ‘When a man appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the man.’

The rain was pouring force majeure in London, weather was savoir-faire in Belgrade. The memory of Soho’s muddy waters helped me brush off this Life of Brian moment. It also got me thinking if my friends were humans. Nothing more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word ‘buddy’.

I reach the station, where I ask for a ticket to London where the king lives. The lights will go out for all of us at some point or another, but unless there are race drivers, astronauts, test pilots, mountain climbers, and others prepared to make the supreme sacrifice in the name of the raw, hell-fire defiance of the odds, there is a legitimate concern that all of society, free of risk and snuggled in bed, will be so stricken with fear that no one will be brave enough even to reach for the light switch.

It was early Sunday morning, and the Marquee was closed up tight. ‘If this thing goes up,’ Alvin said, ‘they won’t even find our dental work.’ The noise, the heat, the vibration, the g-forces, the pitching and yawing of his guitar, the madness of the instruments around you. It’s an environment you can’t begin to imagine while riding a chair in front of your TV screen. Ric pointed to a strip club directly next door and to a White Castle a block distant. ‘Open a liquor store across the street,’ he offered, ‘and this place’ll put Disney right outta business.’ My brain snapped like a cheap rubber band. I felt a jolt of electricity erupt near my temple, then my hands and feet were magically loosed from the neurotransmitters.

 

 

 

 

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George Djuric flew through rally racing, street fighting, philosophy, and anti-psychiatry as if they weren’t there. In the aftermath, all that was left was writing. He published a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, a book read like the gospel by his Yugoslav peers, The Metaphysical Stories. Djuric is infatuated with the fictional alchemy that is thick as amber and capable of indelibly inscribing on the face of the 21st century literature. He lives in the desert near Palm Springs, CA, USA.

 

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2 Responses to “Ten Years After” by George Djuric

  1. susan tepper says:

    This is a very good story. Whew!

  2. Really enjoyed this. Great style.

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