It’s an exciting day in writer land, everyone, because my story, “The Solitary Life of Martin Trencher” has been published on the kickass lit mag, Bartleby Snopes. So take a read, and then head back in a week or so to help vote it to be Story of the Month!
Here’s the beginning to whet your whistle:
The Solitary Life of Martin Trencher
by Suzy Rigdon
At six each morning, Martin rose from his worn twin mattress on the floor in the corner of his studio apartment, grabbed a handful of potato chips that no longer crunched in his mouth, and sat at the table in the center of the room. He stretched one long arm over his head and then the other, cracking each of his slender fingers; gunshots in the silence.
This was his ritual; a prayer before supper, a moment of silence before chaos. He rolled his head a few times forward and then all the way back, feeling the muscles and tendons pulling and stretching down his neck. He groaned in a loud exhalation to warm up his lungs and his voice.
He repeated, “Billy Buttons bought a big bunch of beautiful bananas” five times, and then blew a long raspberry to warm up his lips, as though he was about to step onto the polished stage at the Lincoln Center.
He was ready.
Martin Trencher, dressed in only a pair of blue and white-striped boxer shorts leaned forward onto the table and switched on one radio after another, from left to right, until all fifteen were playing. The noise from each was soft, with wisps of rush hour banter and top ten song lists wavering out, like an orchestra warming up. Alone, each radio would have kept Martin company, but together, they sang a disjointed tune that at most times was half commercial.
Five radios marked the length of the long table, with two more stacked on top of each one. When he sat, the radios towered over Martin, but that was how he liked it. For the first hour, which he’d named his adagio time, he would simply recline with his fingers laced behind his head and watch the green and yellow glows from their faces. His favorite was an old JVC RC-838-W boombox on the bottom of the far right pile. It had two large black speakers with a cassette player in the middle, and a long scrolling tuner across the top in a band. Just for nostalgia’s sake, he kept that one set to WBXZ 99.3—eighties tunes from dawn to dusk. In fact, all of the radios in the right two columns mostly played music of the seventies and eighties, although one, the tiny Supersonic 11 Band Portable on top was tuned to one of those stations where they played a mix of eighties, nineties and today.