Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction

William Drives North To Brenlee

He had made a pilgrimage to see a guru – a Sears plaid shirt and grey chino wearing Armenian, a whiskey-breathed old newpaperman, himself more subject to the whims of chance than a master of divining the fate of humankind. What the old man told him was entirely clear and William couldn’t believe it.

But, then again, William Loof didn’t believe much of anything any more. He didn’t believe people were basically good or that things all work out for the best. He didn’t believe the infinite proceeded with any sense of intention or guidance. He didn’t believe in the way he loved or the way others loved him. He didn’t believe the words from the old man’s mouth even as he knew them to be true.

William drove his his dead mother’s car north along highway 99 feeling the dull knife edge of this deep internal contradiction: his consistent failure to believe what he knew to be true. Learning to dwell on this edge had filled his parent’s life with meaning. The truth made little sense and seemed to offer no redemption, while belief dangled a vision of hope and a healthy feeling of clarity. If he could only reconcile the two, bring his belief in line with the truth, then perhaps he could break free of all that kept him coming back to Brenlee, he could avoid life’s many twisted routes that he returned him to the safety of his own failures. Didn’t that mean figuring out Brenlee? Impossible. A fool’s errand, but, then again, what other kind did he have?