Last night, the kids were in bed by nine. My wife and I had time, so we took it slow, dancing around the subject at hand. Talking in the kitchen led to dancing of a different sort and eventually we ended up in bed. One plus one makes two. You know the drill, or you did, until we arrived in this strange place.
This strange time
Locked in our houses, stuck with our families, eyes glued to a myriad of screens, digital faces and barking voices that have somehow come to mean more to us than our own flesh, our own blood.
I know a septuagenarian who refers to cellphones as “slabs.” He doesn’t own one, so I call his house every Tuesday night after the kids go down. Last week, we talked for over an hour. Almost twice as long as we regularly do. He told me about a recent date where he and his lady friend practiced social distancing but still had a really nice time. They gave each other “virtual hugs” and inspected the dweeby yurts lining the shores of Lake DeGray.
“A dweeby yurt?”
Find the last slabless American and ask him. Keep your distance, please, but seriously, find this man and ask him about dweeby yurts. It’s hilarious.
While you’re at it, put your cellphone down. Go for a walk and talk to people. They’re crazy, beautiful, and currently hiding teddy bears all around my neighborhood. My three-year-old daughter points and screams, “Look, Da-dee! Is a teddy.” Side-walk chalk tessellations are popping up in driveways. Have you seen them?
Parents have been gifted more time with their families than ever before. Yes, the days are long, and there is no overtime pay. For many, there is no pay. Period. But a Jamaican cabdriver in Dallas once told me, “Money’s like air, mi bredren, and you are still breathing.”
I can’t remember if I tipped him or not. I hope I did. I would now. Even with my wife staring down the barrel of a long run of unemployment, I’d still give that Jamaican cabdriver every bill in my wallet.
That line he gave me is over ten years old, and still it remains. How much is time worth? I don’t know, but I can feel it spinning like a roll of toilet paper, going faster and faster the closer I get to the end.
To the best of my knowledge, Walt Whitman wasn’t a Jamaican cabdriver in Dallas (at least not in this life), but he got it right when he said, “The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
So, please, contribute.
There’s still time to find the teddy bears. And instead of just chalk on the sidewalk, I hope you see the cement as something like a stained-glass window, a glimpse of what the world could be when all of this is over.
Very excited about this project. Click HERE for a teaser page. Love the cover. Excited to be included with such talented authors.
Eli Cranor, Up-And-Coming Local AuthorMay 10, 2017
Eli Cranor is a relatively new name to the local author designation, but we have a feeling he's going to fit right in. We were lucky enough to get the chance to find out more on this up-and-comer. Check out his interview and video below!
When did you start writing, and what inspired you to do so?
I began writing in college while I was playing football and majoring in English Literature. I had a professor, Dr. Johnny Wink, who was my catalyst. He still reads nearly everything I write. From there he led me to guys like Jack Butler and Alex Taylor, guys who have helped every step along the way. Writing is lonely work, but when you have a group like that, it helps. I think writing is about as strong a thing a person can do. It's like breathing for me, or working out - if I don't write a certain amount of words throughout the day, something just doesn't feel right.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I'm in novel mode. I wrote short stories all the way through college and up until this past year. I think that's a good way to start. Short stories are fun. You can write one in a single sitting, edit it, and have a pretty complete package in about a week. Patience is not one of my strongest attributes. I enjoy having a finished product. So the short stories were a good way for me to just keep writing. But this year I decided to tackle the novel. Novels are hard. You can get lost somewhere around two hundred pages. I've currently written three novels, one of which is just about ready to be sent out to actual publishing houses. It's a football story about a high school coach who is fired after inciting a race riot at the halftime of the state championship game and the only place he can find a job is in Sweden. I played one year in a league in Sweden before coming home to coach high school ball for five years. This book hits close to home. Most of my work centers around football. You write what you know, write what you love, and no matter what I do, I just can't seem to get off a field.
Where can we find some of your work?
You can find all of my published pieces at elicranor.com. My stories have been taken at Foliate Oak, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Every Writer, New Pop Lit, and most recently, Eclectica Magazine.
What is the story behind Long Shadows in the Almost Fall? Is it based on anyone you know?
Long Shadows in the Almost Fall is a story about every football team I've ever been around. There is always a guy like Mikey. I think it's part of the allure of the gridiron. I probably spent too much time on the sideline watching those guys when I should have been worrying about what coverage the defense was playing. But I guess all those years of watching them culminated in this story. I never asked any of them why they were out there, why they decided to sit out in the heat and the cold and watch boys run and tackle. So I wrote this story to find out.
Huge thanks to Emily at Dog Ear Books in Russellville for this video of my latest story. Buy books from DOG EAR!
Click the link above for my latest story. "Long Shadows in the Almost Fall" came out this past weekend.