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Mark Flanigan
 
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The Ballad Of Aralee Strange

3 Comments · Tuesday, December 20, 2011
What is it about being human that causes us to toast only the dead? Let us instead now celebrate the living. Aralee Strange. The name is almost too perfect, as if a literary device. Yet she is, if nothing else, very real.   

Exiled from Main Street

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 7, 2011
When word broke one of my drinking buddies, Chris Glandorf, died unexpectedly some weeks back, I was beset by a deadline that I still have yet to meet. I sat in front of my computer, deflated, wondering how such a thing could be true, the long line of goodbyes delivered via Facebook testifying to its validity.   

Talkin’ Turkey

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Ten years I’ve been writing a column and the only time I’ve ever mentioned eating, I wasn’t talking about food. I point this out not to congratulate my restraint so much as offer proof that I generally shy away from shoving my beliefs down another’s throat. Yet one I’ve held my entire adult life at least warrants mention in these pages.   

A Call to Arms

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Still nary a mention of Tim, though. Until now. For the other day, I received a call from him; he was making his boxing debut on the undercard of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. He was nervous because he was in tough against an undefeated fighter with a massive pedigree, while he had none. Worse, he confided that he had no trainer with him, as his had fallen ill.  

The Passenger

1 Comments · Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I’m gonna tell you the same thing I told the police. When I picked him up from the airport, he didn’t seem all that bad off. Pale, perhaps, with rings around the eyes, but nothing alarmingly different than anyone else I had picked up that was in the middle of a tour.    

America 2011

3 Comments · Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I gave America a Labor Day party this weekend and it was a lot of work. The kids aren’t so much interested in fireworks anymore, but rest assured we adults still like our alcohol. America, are you tired? I know I am. Tired of the 50-hour workweek, or the no workweek. Tired of 1 % of your population owning 40% of your wealth. Tired of record profits and thievery being subsidized.  

Beta

5 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It was my birthday, but you know it wasn’t a big deal or anything. Like no one declared, “Let’s go out tonight and celebrate your birthday, Mark.” Going out just happened, as usual. It consisted, sadly, of driving up and down the strip — which I now realize is no strip at all, but just a street like any other. But sometimes we would find something there, like a drag race maybe, or (preferably) the rear-end of a car full of girls. More often than not, though, there would be nothing.  

Bloodbath Barcelona

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 3, 2011
After four days of Beck’s for breakfast in Germany, I already felt sapped of energy and hobbled. Not to mention the reappearance of a long-lost ailment that suddenly returned: an anal fissure that had me repeatedly filling the bowl in a way that brought to mind Jackson Pollock.  

Into the Light

Exiled from Main Street XXXIV: for S.B.

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
This is not what you wanted to read. Normally, you wouldn’t. Most would rally, sweep this under the rug. All the same, for whatever reason, tonight it’s the cutting-room floor, the tail end of a month that demanded that you write three stories, collate a manuscript, apply to a festival, ready for a performance and now this, the dregs of a conversation.  

Elegy for a Dirty-Faced Angel

4 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
He will never again disarm us with his smile. Never will wrap a burrito or put another pie in the oven. Nor have me smoke pot with a gas mask, then walk me to my apartment because I forgot where I lived. He won’t again dress as a nun on Halloween and be photographed smoking a cigarette and holding a can of MGD with a life-sized cutout of James Dean in the background. Nor will he ever not leave behind a good-looking corpse.