As Stephen Van Dyck was coming of age, the internet came of age around him.
For a gay teen in a small town, the internet meant the freedom to find other gay boys and men for dating, casual hookups, and friendship. In his new book, People I’ve Met from the Internet, Van Dyck has published a meticulously kept list of these encounters annotated with stories.
The list itself, published in non-annotated form at the start of the book, is entertaining to read, with snippets like “cuddled, asked me to call him Dad” that hint at a larger story. Van Dyck began maintaining a list of people he met on the internet over ten years ago as an art project. Though some encounters on the list are innocent (a few female friends, and some purchases of furniture through Craigslist) the meetings are overwhelmingly hookups.
The list grows more self-referential as we move through time to the point where Dyck began maintaining the list (at some points, he notes that people may be acting differently around him, either being more guarded or acting strangely on purpose, because they’re aware that he might write about them). This tracks on Dyck’s own evolution from the young teen he was at the start of the book to the performance artist he’s grown into by the end. Continue reading
There’s not much in the hot desert that stretches from California into Arizona, save giant tumbleweeds, strangely anthropomorphic cacti with upstretched arms for branches, and a long, long highway that is interstate 10, replete with mirages and, every so often, a blip in the road for gas stations. The last time I traveled down that highway the temperature was topping out at 121 degrees. It was July, but this was hot even for July. We– my husband, children, and nephew—had just crossed the border into Arizona, on our way to Sedona for the annual family vacation, when I saw a remarkable road sign. I shouted out: “Did you see that? The sign for Sore Finger Road?”
No one else in the car had seen it. They didn’t believe me. Instead, they all laughed, and my husband looked over at me and said something about my vivid imagination and projecting and excess energy, because I couldn’t drive.
He was right, because on a road trip, I share the driving. I’m a good driver, and I like to be in control. Hurtling down a highway at 80 miles per hour is much more appealing if I am the one doing the hurtling. This time, though, I was confined to the passenger seat for eight hours with a bank of pillows to prop up my heavily bandaged left hand because, you see, I had one very, very sore finger.
While it is still September, supermarkets already have their Halloween sections out and my candies look like eyeballs. THEREFORE Halloween contests are upon us and it is time for you to make us cry tears of terror. Send us something haunting, grotesque, pumpkin themed, etc. and you could win a book in the genre of your choosing as well as a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. The top contenders will all be published on our site. Only one gets the coveted book and gift card.
Acceptable forms of writing for this contest are the same as our regular submission guidelines which are here: http://thefuriousgazelle.com/faq/ . The only rule is that this is a Halloween contest so your piece(s) should reflect that in whatever way you deem Halloween-ish.
That’s right piece(s)! We will take up to five submissions from each contestant. Please send your submissions with Halloween Contest Submission in the subject line of your email. The Deadline is Friday October 24, 2014.
-The Furious Gazelle Editors
Check out a new essay titled “Bee, Telephone, Flower” by Rebecca Lawhorne, below.
Rebecca Lawhorne was born on a Christian commune in rural Alaska, but was migrated to an island in Florida. After years of feeling like she was missing out on an essential part of the human experience, brutal weather and wild animals, she moved herself back north. She now shares her life with two farm-raised women and their dogs, practices subsistent living and attends the Univeristy of Alaska, Fairbanks, studying under poets Derick Burleson and Sean Hill. You can pick her brain at moonpixie.tumblr.com and tune into her radio show “Hipstery” on KSUAradio.