Rick Moody

Writing the ad was the last thing he did. At the very end, that is, he wrote the ad. The ad was culmination of years of frustration and boredom. Before the ad, in fact, was the blind date with his son's colleague at the computer software company. His son wrote code, see. And before his son wrote code, his son was living at home, honestly believing that he was somehow deformed, although he was not. How did this begin? It didn't begin. It sort of ended. One thing led to another thing, and you saw the end, you saw the code writing, and the result of the code writing, but the beginning, the patience, the years of thinking about a thing before doing it were all hidden away like fat part of the iceberg. So that was the ad, and before the ad was the software colleague, who was in her fifties, and who was "loveing," according to an e-mail message she wrote him, and thus the purposeful misspelling in the ad, and like a catepillar she was big in the middle, and there were moments when she reared up, as if to move, but no real motion, or only the illusion of motion actually took place. And maybe he said the wrong thing to the catepillar woman, who was proceeeded by some other woman, who was proceeded by some other, and one of them was the one who wrote him affirmations, and for a while he said these affirmations, the ones she wrote for him, though he was seventy-three years old, and had done many things, like serve in ROTC, without affirmations, but again the affirmations were the end of a set of problems not the beginning, and the set of problems included a sensitivity to dairy, an obsession with ice hockey, and the consumption of thrillers, but only if he could read the last chapter first, and then start over again at the beginning thereafter, because maybe he was only interested in explanations, not surprises. Before the woman with the affirmations was the period when he was in his fifties, and he was still a good looking man then, and his son was in school, and his son felt that he was different from his father, and he wore a certain kind of trousers, trousers that had piping, or stitching, or some such, and so he thought he was different, and the father thought he was virile and operating at the top of the game, before which he was not virile at all but was oversensitive, because he had just been left by the woman who had produced the son, and this was in the rusty, woebegone, Midwest, which wasn't quite as rusty as it is now, but which was working on it, and the story then weaves around in the Midwest, one road leading to another road, all of them swerving around lakes and into deer camp. God help the denizens of deer camp, because the deer on the hood of the pickup was always the end point, and the beginning involved much drunkenness, and once it involved shooting his neighbor and driving with him to the hospital. It is all about the causes and the effects, and the effects are the endings, but the endings always conceal the beginnings, because the beginnings have to be engineered, and he had tried to be an engineer, but he wasn't any good at it, and before that he thought he was a real ladies' man, in the 1950s, driving around in his XKE, and before that he was alone at some private school for which his parents had scrimped and saved, and he had no idea what would become of him, that he would rise up and fall down, and that he would be loved and he would be unloved, and he had no idea that the beginning would always remain concealed the moment of devotion that was his origin effected in the world, if you chased things backward, this way, to the very beginning, there was always something effaced, and that was maybe why he wrote the ad in the first place; he wrote the ad because of the loneliness of origins, origins drifting away into the universe far from the conclusions that are theoretically attached to them, and faced with these ghost origins, what can one do but sing out for the odd "loveing" companion, weight not really an issue, but non-smoking preferred, hair color not an issue, bottled blonde is kind of tawdry when you think about it, and green eyes, well we all think the world of green eyes. Was he saying it right? 

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