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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Benjamin Gilton

I'M GOING TO HOWL at the moon until its ears drip blood into my coffee maker. I'm going to set the world on fire with the strike of a single match. Knights have been born into this type of inspiration. Tremendous wars have been waged over less. I've been to this place before, and am greeted with much comfort. In a room like this, where the bed is turned back, or rather unmade from the night before. Just sheets and pillows spread apart from mattress; an enormous hole filled with blood, burned into the center. I don't think I had anything to do with that. Pillowcase sprawled out dead in the middle of the floor.

This is the Skid Row boarding house that I dreamed of as a child. This is the ashtray overflowing with a week's worth of smoker's castaways. These are books still stacked in cardboard boxes. These are bookshelves with laundry neatly folded upon. This is a candle with dried wax flowing down like volcano rock, embedding itself into the carpeting. Ancient in here.

This is.

This is my suitcase full of parts to a television set, and I'm planing to use those parts to create a sort of art-project time-travel experiment. Here are the framed paintings that I've owned from the beginning; now leaning against the wall instead of being nailed to it. I'm considering taking scissors to the canvas to carve out postcards and mail them back to my hometown with thoughtfully composed messages that rave of my well being -- that let them know how well I'm getting along in the big city. My dad might appreciate this.

Here is.

Here is my soul, alive and awake. Preparing to fight, eat, sleep, fuck, laugh, and survive. Preparing to photograph itself for history textbooks. Ready to burn in the glow of forever summer.

Benjamin may be contacted: Bjgilton@yahoo.com.