BLATANT DISREGARD OF AFFECTION
On what turned out to be not one of Bob Johnson’s best days, he baked and ate a red-throated hummingbird for lunch.
It was chewier than he expected, and saltier.
He shared the secret with nobody but us.
BOB EXPRESSES HIS DESIRE TO BECOME A MORE PRODUCTIVE CITIZEN
On Friday, Bob Johnson wrote a letter to the only country on the planet that he knew anything about.
You probably don’t know me. I just work here. I don’t like to draw too much attention to myself. I avoid parties. I’m not very smart. I went to a community college. I watch too much cable TV. I like baseball more than football. Once I met Ted Danson at a Dodgers game. I’ve been divorced. Many times, actually. Maybe even several. I can’t recall. I think of you often. I don’t know what else to say. I wish I was clever. If there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to call, even though my phone service was recently disconnected, or it’s being monitored by a third party, that’s another thing I’m not entirely sure about. I’m accessible by email. I’m reasonably easy to contact. That might change at any moment. I’m just doing my best from my end. That’s all I’m trying to say. The ball’s in your court, America. Good luck with all your ambitious enterprises.
Love, Bob Johnson
After several months, Bob Johnson received a hand-written reply from America. It said:
Dear Bob Johnson. Please stop writing me. Best wishes, America.
He had it laminated and hung in an obvious place on his living room wall where it remained, quite unspectacularly, until the day of, you know. The earthquake.
Novelist, short story writer and critic. Works include The History of Luminous Motion, Dazzle Resplendent: Adventures of a Misanthropic Dog, and The People Who Watched Her Pass By. Stories and reviews have appeared in Triquarterly, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Baffler, and numerous “best of” anthologies. He lives in California and London.