* Topless and potbellied, Elmer glugs on a beer. He is sprawled across the butterscotch sofa. Still, he listens for Pinky, for the girl who hides above him. The plunks of her remote control. A toilet’s swill. A closing cupboard. Elmer, though, only finds bleak silence. His door unlocks, the hinges keening. Reggie shuffles through.
* Reggie troops down the aisle, sweeping up the remains of a wilted bouquet. He pushes petals into neat miniature piles and, for a mini moment, pretends that he is marching toward someone of his own. Yes, yes. I have seen him parade like this before. Each time he becomes glazed with hope. A speck
* Reggie spots Maria’s corn cart steaming on the sidewalk. He sees buttered cobs, silk, pails, root beer, salt shakers, napkins, salsa. “Hey, Reggie,” Maria calls out. She jiggles, clad in shorts and towering heels. Stray whiffs of corn stalk the atmosphere, swabbing Reggie’s face. “Hey, Maria,” he replies. She pumps and twirls beside her
* Reggie waves to the receptionist. Jo Jo leans through the fingerprinted Plexiglas window. “Your father came to see Dr. Dann this morning,” she says. “For his toe.” “Is he okay?” Reggie asks. “Yeah. It’s just swollen. And he’s, like, gained four more pounds.” “Really?” Her frizzed ponytail swings sideways. “He just keeps getting bigger
With gratitude to Chelsea Station Editions and Michael Graves, we are honoured to present the first Chapter of Michael’s debut novel; Parade. Over the course of the next five days you can read a week-long serialisation of Chapter One; ‘Genesis’. Enjoy… * Morning cracks to life. The custard-colored sky douses Reggie Lauderdale. He sleeps, a rosary