Johnny America


An­i­mal in Man


Gary Still­man watched the goose fall straight down out of the sky and clip the han­dle on the rusty pump. Then it tum­bled side­ways the re­main­ing few feet to the ground and then it lay still. He’d been star­ing out the win­dow be­cause of hav­ing not much else to do. The goose fell about half an hour in­to his win­dow-star­ing. It caught his eye as it was the on­ly mov­ing ob­ject in the framed bit of world he could see. It was a Cana­da goose, fall­en from heav­en and now wrung and dead on the ground. “It’s dead,” he said, and for a mo­ment thou­sands of an­ti-stars twin­kled black against the mid­day sky.

Gary stood up abrupt­ly and banged his head against the win­dow frame. “Fuck,” he mum­bled and rubbed it piti­ful­ly. In the next room the ba­by start­ed cry­ing, as though spurred by his own pain. He was feel­ing dis­grun­tled about the whole deal- the goose, the ba­by, his shoes that had no trac­tion to speak of so he slipped around on the bath­room floor.

He went in and looked at the ba­by. “Hi, I’m Gary,” he said, ex­tend­ing his hand for it to shake. It was stand­ing up, hold­ing on­to the edge of the crib — still cry­ing out of its red, bloat­ed in­fant-face. The ba­by would­n’t shake the hand, and in­stead just stared at it. Gary said, “nice to meet you.” Still no re­sponse. He walked out of the room and the ba­by wailed even more.

Out­side, the wind was pick­ing up and it was start­ing to smell of au­tumn. He saw the goose’s feath­ers rip­pling in the wind. He walked over and kicked at it a lit­tle. It showed no signs of mov­ing, so he picked the bird up to see if he could fig­ure out what caused its fall.

He looked for bul­let wounds or bro­ken bones but he could­n’t see any­thing. Sling­ing the bird over his shoul­der, he head­ed to the garage to get his shovel.

Filed under Fiction on February 4th, 2004

Care to Share?

Reader Comments

Lazz wrote:


Flapped 2Times wrote:

I con­cur, this makes my flap turn in­side out.

Bahumut wrote:

My poo hurts.. U R Nasty!

Janet wrote:

Ge­of­frey Daumer had noth­ing on you, sister.
What filth! How can you live with yourself?
Mis­ery, al­co­holism and a cell block are all I can see in your future.
Ab­solute­ly revolting!

katie wrote:

YOU peo­ple are the sick ones. he seems like a cor­dial guy that’s just tak­ing care of a lit­tle dead bird busi­ness. plus, that first sen­tence made me jeal­ous. where’s my god­damn first sen­tence? can john­ny amer­i­ca give me that?

katie wrote:

oh, my birth­day was yesterday.

Emily Lawton wrote:

Katie- I’m hap­py to pro­vide you with a first sen­tence. Please email me.

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post


Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.