What if Death were to forget about you? What if your Muse were a metaphysical ball-buster? What would you do if your family and friends were swallowed by a big red box? The stories in Surfing in Catal Hyuk explore these questions and more. And they might even spew out an answer or two.
Surfing in Catal Hyuk
Of all these stories, my favorite has always been “The Nickel”. The idea came to me on a bus ride across Canada in 1981. We passed a crossroads in the middle of nowhere in Saskatchewan. There was a pole on the shoulder where the roads intersected. The pole had some form of box. For the rest of the trip, all the way to Vancouver, I couldn’t stop thinking about that box and wondering what it was for and why the hell it was on that pole out there in the middle of nowhere. It nagged at the back of my head until a year later, back in Fredericton, I made some notes about it and started writing a story about a man who lived in the middle of nowhere and took care of the box.
I worked on the story off and on for about 10 years until one night, when I was working at The Club Camelot on the games room bar on a slow night, I was on a roll and started writing pages by hand and passing to three of my customers who took turns reading them as I wrote them. I stopped short on the last page.
It took another two years before I finally got that last page.