Okay, okay, you all keep asking for me to read writers you know, and I keep dipping into the well of obscurity to pick up writers you’ve never heard of. I know! I’ll read the writers you know, maybe, but you have to tell me which ones you want to hear. And until you do, I’m just going to continue to flip over rocks and turn up amazing archeoliterary pearls like this. Do you know this story? Probably not. Should you listen anyway? Yes, if you want your socks knocked right off your feet.
Okay, adventure seekers, listen up! For reasons that need not be enumerated here, I should warn you that tonight’s story was recorded in a hushed whisper, late at night, and I didn’t dare play it back to sample the condign commission of my own bedtime story. In other words, it was read quietly and is being posted blindly.
I know that I should be wishing some of you happy Passover, others happy Easter, others the goodliest of Fridays. But more importantly, more important than sweet Haroseth and pastel eggs and chocolate covered matzoh shaped as salty rabbits, let us not forget today’s holiday, the one hundredth anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s birth, which is deserving of thrice-leavened gilded eggshells.
I have to tell you about a brilliant little moment that happened today. I was on a train, at an hour in which far too many people take the train, leaving us all sardinically resentful of one another’s smells, oversized totebags, and inter-seasonal viruses. This was, or would have been, evidenced by an isolated high-pitched sneeze from the far end of the car, -except- that from the far side of the other end, someone yelled out a brazen “bless you!”
Nothing says Eve of The Second Coming of Christ like a longish existential short story by a forgotten Swedish Nobel winner (repeat: not nepotism) about a delusional old urchin who lives and preaches as the saviour of man.
I don’t know where you can find this in print– Jesus knows, I’ll bet. I have it in a tattered dimestore paperback anthology called The Existential Mind, Documents and Fictions,