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We know there’s more to everything than meets the eye.
And, in the face of emptiness or horror, we seek inspiration, reassurance, and (perhaps) life preserving insights in the memories and imaginings found in stories.
But each story is its own burden
And creation has no end
Saint Gredible and Her Fat Dad’s Mass
by Joe Panzica
A young girl is nearly undone by the frightful crush of history, the twisting contradictions of love, and the explosive potential of Chelonial grace.
I remembered it like it was yesterday. We was cruising through the campus of Cold Spring Harbor where they invented euthanasia and eugenics, taking another long break from the sad task of emptying the house of Abe’s father. Anyway, Abey turns to me and he says, “Stan, whadyad think you’d get if you mated “A Tinkle in Slime” by Mad Ellen Lingleshein with “The Produce Sellers” by Zero Mortedella?”
“I dunno, Abe” says I, knowing it’d have nothing to do with urine-soaked lunch meat.
“Me neither,” Avram Ider quickly quipped. “But if you work in a soundtrack by JohnPaulGeorge&Ringo, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and a wholelotta of Coltrane along with some questionable particle physics, intermingling stacks of turtles, as swell as guest star cameos by the music faculty of MIT, Simone Weil, Roy Cohn, the Waltons (who are SnotLaws spelled backwards), ANTIFA Ninjas, Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor), Pontius Pilate, Jewy Ruinous & Dino Marchinon (The Blitzkrieg Bros), Ezra Beelzebub Pound, Archibald MacFritz Tenenbaum, Caesar’s last breath, the werewolves of Central Park, the ducklings of Boston Common, etc. etc. etc., then you can tell the stories of my Baby Greddy, her ashy knapsack, her unmissed Mudd, me, and her tap dancing grandfellow Auschwitz survivors. - especially my dear dead dad and all his unwholesome crazy kidbooks!”
“I dunno, Abe,” says I, thinking I was sorely sunk. "But that’s what fiends are for."
Then Abe sez, "Ya know Stan, if you wrote me sorry, it would be jest like "A Conspiracy of Dimwits" by John F. Kennedy the Tool."
"Yeah Abe. Just as funny and twice as . . ."
"Depressing . . ."
"No Abe . . . Moving!"
"Yeah . . . movin'," sez Abe, punching down on the accelerator. Again. And we all grabbed for our seatbelts. Again.
Saint Gredible and her Fat Dad’s Mass
Table of Contents
Vernal Pools of New England
Creating and destroying a pulchritude of universals, Streamly Gredible mischievously collides impactfully with Fat Dad
A tense breakfast in which we meet ne'er do well Stan and are delayed from having fun at the skatepark
Some ecumenical musings as Gretty wonders where she does and does not belong
Zeyede Obby's Master Story where there are no rats but art can still sail you away from them
In which poor Gretty Ider wonders about her prenuptial parents and tries, once again, to cuddle her mudder
In which Gretty asserts herself against all forces of nature and the universe
An awlkard outing in the city only gets worser
Gretty participates in the sweet sublime mysteries of creation
In which Gretty wonders why it happens to everyone and why it happens to her
Gretty, Stan, and Abe consider the state of early 21st Century workforce development and particle physics
Gret and her fat dad appeal to Boeotia and Terpsichore for partial atonement
House of Quips
Stan leads Gretty (willingly) and Abe (resentully) on a trek from New England to Long Island via Prohibition era Appalachia
In which Gretty considers all the options between sink or swim
Zeyde Obby's first (and everybody's favorite) story
'Zeyde Zeyde' (Zeyde Z') is a disturbing messenger who punches through the morning mist
In which Abe Ider's complex organizational skills launch him again into another uneasy state of flow
In which Streamly Gredible tumbles headlong down a precipitous Via Dolorosa
Greta Ider strives to order something off the menu, but learns that waffling in the face of creation buys no time
In which Stan and Abey wonder whether our species will ever be great again
In which Stan and Abey regret how money can't buy belonging
The Cruelest Month
In which Abey tunes out his traveling companions as he cruises through the twisted intersections of many musical helices
In which Gretty puts down her pack
In which multiple ceremonies undergo fission, fusion, and repetition according to penultimate principles
In which Gretty stares too longingly at a lithe waitperson
In which Abey fishes his delightful drenched daughter from the clutches of infinite possibilities
In which, dragging down the Jericho Turnpike, all voices are raised high in praiseful song and shout
In which Anty Sheila helps them crash the gates of memory
In which Gretty meets a long lost rescued Grand Mamma
In which Gretty remembers grownups gone wild
Simmering Summer Kills
Some mournful musings on mothers and motherlove
In which Abey wonders if he was put here for some purpose or something
In which Gretty, without a baker's boy, kneads her own dough
Zeyde Obby's last story
Anti-Fascist Games on The Commonwealth Green
In which Gretty, in a time of trouble, turns to "The Cute One"
An extremely suscipit obit
Home for the Jolly Days
In which a year after her orphanage, Gretty takes stock of her situation
A message about Zeyde Z brings home old family responsibilities
In which Gretty experiences author pangs and mother missives
An Obby story with multiple thumbs and fingers in the pot of authorship
Posthumous paternal scrawlings
A playful yuletide pagent to shake the season's sprites