Where Reality and Fantasy Blur

  Issue 8, January 2011

My New Place*
By Bob Thurber

Read about Bob Thurber and his writing in his interview in this issue of LI Online

My new place was a furnished room (bed, dresser, chair) with a slanted ceiling, above a brick-front thrift shop called Bargain Plus. The weekend I moved in, the shop was running a two-for-one sale on solid oak picture frames, all shapes and sizes.

After I unloaded my car, I went downstairs and blew money that I couldn't afford to blow. But I know quality when I hold it in my hand.

All that night, instead of unpacking, I sat on the floor sorting, snipping, and framing. By midnight I had my kids up on the wall. All my kids, in all shapes and sizes. And I had them at all the ages I had known, ages they would never be again. I had them with pets and people who had died. I made an arrangement. It was easy. A dozen nails, about a dozen, most of them painted over, were already in the wall. I hammered in a half dozen more.

I arranged my life on that wall.

"Hey asshole, " my new neighbor said. He banged five, six times from his side. "How do you like it?"

Of course I didn't. The wall shook, the man sounded drunk, and I didn't like the way he made the children's pictures jump.

By closing my eyes I am back in that place, on that bed, clutching my pillow like it is a human form.

*  "My New Place" was originally published in Turnrow Vol.2, No.2 Winter 2003

BIO: Bob Thurber worked at writing every day for 20 years before attempting to publish. After over 200 hundred publishing credits later he is the recipient of 40 Awards & citations, including The Barry Hannah Fiction Prize. His first novel Paperboy will be released in May 2011 by Casperian Books. Learn more about Bob Thurber, his novel and his various short fictions at bobthurber.net.

Click here to pre-order Bob Thurber's novel PAPERBOY from Barnes and Noble