Michael Fauver, 2011 Writers Retreat Fellow in Fiction

Michael Fauver, 2011 Writers Retreat Fellow in Fiction



I'm pleased to introduce Michael Farber a class of 2011 lambda fellow in fiction [Applause] hello I'm going to be reading from a story titled we are men here also and the only thing you need to know is the premise it's two men run an airplane graveyard on a flattened mountaintop in West Virginia and a group of air traffic controllers have come to learn about what they do Jake and I collect geriatric airplanes everything from Jumbo's down to props we are lighthouse keepers funeral directors janitors of the sky Jake coaches pilots for their final final descent and I grab my knee on sticks and headphones to flag them into their slots one per day more if companies are cleaning the junk from their fleets clogging the clouds of dying birds we made the controller's at our one terminal Terminal B I line a line of air traffic soldiers marches in the door smiles break apart as soon as they're inside snazzy shoes plaque the tile a battalion of tap dancers they though we never tell them that never laugh at them at least not to their faces 22 wife picked colognes swirl and swarm into a single overripe pheromone that makes makes you want to mate with exactly no one no one that is except for Bradford Bradford who stops door framed and looks at me the way none of the others do or have ever done lingers he's blonde and sad and innocent above his beard of a coating of Trebek rosacea colors his cheeks he loves a hunter green duffel over his right shoulder and his somehow prettier for it Jake my hospitable Jake offers to carry his bag Bradford says he might think he could handle it but thank you i wink in my boys direction either he doesn't see or he hates that I've done something stupid like wink instead of going over and touching him in front of all these other men usually we have the whole station the entire mountain really to ourselves we in the remains of first class I ignore my messes I draw with char on the floors and on the crumbling ceilings where I can reach them I hike through the trees and my underpants and kiss my boy whenever I please Jake sunbathe nude the North runway our most crowded catches the best shine so he rolls up his towel about once an hour and hopscotch is the mammoth shadows of Plains as the Sun arcs overhead but visitors come by flustered suddenly I don't kiss I swap sweetness I say I see my boy across the room and I walk all the way around it so it looks an accident that I brush into him they're coming here drenched in scent is the very definition of a mixed signal the controllers do not like us so what does it matter what they smell like they think our direction spring at anyone with the bulb in their neck and the jungle ability to spot to sprout back hair clearly they our erections do not they're quite particular actually we are not lured by this smelly camouflage we do not suddenly think that all is dandy the only one we want on is Bradford and he thank all the gods dabbed himself with nothing before the trip not a lick of air traffic controller on him in one width you get sweat and carpeted bus seat and ribbed vinyl flooring and washed away lubricant and break rooms past and present and salted buttered movie theater popcorn and black coffee and styrofoam and his mom a secret recipe for stew surprise and all over a deep deep sadness one of seatbelts and a damaged fuselage and clean promised safe pressurized air we watch him Bradford and we watch each other watch we've spotted one of our own he's it's a way of life the controllers can know nothing about because for them all kinds are their kinds they could hope and believe that all men are just like them the the trained oblivious they trust the perfection of uniformity they look down from above angels with gliding identical blips on their radar screens and to tell them otherwise would be to ruin everything so often we don't we leave it like it is we notice others the to fly low undetected and we try to communicate that one all-important thing you can trust us

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