• kevin kunundrum

Exciting Scenes from Next Week's Show!

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Jack Odessa remembers this TV show from the Sixties. What was it called? There was this drifter who'd ride into some nondescript town on his Triumph or Indian or whatever cool bike it was. Then he'd step into the diner for a cup o’ Joe, looking like James Dean meets the Antichrist. This ill-wind blown across the prairie that hasn't been the same since the Dust Bowl. And the women behind their pieces o’ pie and Reader’s Digest (who haven't been properly laid in years) raise their eyebrows. And the men who fought in WWII and voted for Eisenhower (and to a man, know how to fix a damn car) see the road in his eyes. He's trouble, all right. Youth’s wild card. They might’ve been like him themselves once (a long time ago).

“Your drink, sir,” says the flight attendant/stewardess.


Jack takes a sip and his face forms a smile.

Then Came Bronson!” he announces.

The man sitting next to him turns his head at the outburst, studies Jack for a moment, then returns safely to The New Yorker.

The New Yorker…” Jack says to himself. “Buncha clenched-asshole snobs who act like they shit lavender.” He takes another sip of JWB. Then Came Bronson… The drifter was this Bronson guy. Every episode he'd wander into town and the waitress would see him like Bonnie saw Clyde. And they'd share a Byronic idyll beneath a calendar with a tractor on it. Then Bronson would become exhaust fumes and dust kicked up from Dunlops, followed by exciting scenes from next week's show! If only we could have that for our own lives, we can take a peek at what's in store. But the exciting stuff! The fist-fights and sex! The day-to-day, leave it to the Squares. What is it about the Bronsons? Poetry in their fractured souls, callused hands and words like whispers. The waitress sees it, she wants it. What we all want (or wanted). Beyond the staid, the safe, the same. The spark that some possess. But sparks don't last, they light candles. Only candles last. And hearts are never broken by candles.

(An excerpt from Kunundrum's new novel, Blood of the Sun)

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