Here Is a Bio

AJ Ferguson makes his home in North Carolina. When asked, he claims to be writing, and then shuts the door without further comment. But there are rumors. There are dates and witnesses which lead many to believe most of his time’s spent in misdirection and fabrication. This, of course, is somewhat true.

Here Are Some Facts:
Though known to prefer Jameson over Bushmills, he claims this preference holds neither political nor religious implications. The whiskey is consumed neat, water back.

His immediate and extended family is replete with: hippies, reprobates, Catholics, alcoholics, Jews, and at least one black woman. That a Grandfather was both Protestant and a life-long Republican hardly excuses the rest from scrutiny or scorn.

He’s spent the last two decades of his life in a wheelchair. These twenty years have been almost as interesting as the time he spent walking. AJ often thinks he should utilize his disability in his fiction or write articles about disability studies. He never does.

He used to read a novel a week until he was hired to teach writing. The irony of this isn’t lost on him. Though to be fair, a panoply of  ironies fail to make an impression on a daily basis. It all evens out.

Here Is an Anecdote:
A Ford pickup, circa 1977, cruises along a highway in Northern Mexico, some fifty miles south of the Rio Grande. The truck slows and pulls onto the shoulder of the road. AJ’s father gets out to relieve himself on the truck’s front tire. AJ – who is seven-years-old – remains in the truck. Two children are hustling toward them, each grasping a strip of rubber which is tied to the leg of a ground squirrel. The squirrels dangle and sway in the breeze of passing cars, four paws splayed outward, searching for something to hold onto. As they near the truck, the children lift the squirrels high and begin to pump their arms. This causes the tiny rodents to struggle and chitter. AJ feels certain if he doesn’t own a squirrel, he’ll die. He pleads his case. AJ’s father says the children are intentionally cruel so gringos will stop and buy the squirrels; his father says only a fool pays good money for vermin; his father says most people release the squirrels down the road where accomplices wait to recapture them; his father calls it guilt extortion as he hands a boy five dollars; his father says he should have held his piss for the border after slamming the door shut and handing his son a squirrel. As they drive away, AJ feels slightly guilty. He didn’t care about the cruelty: he just wanted a squirrel. Two weeks later, the ground squirrel will die cold and alone in New Jersey apartment. When shown the corpse, his father will say it was probably rabid and then light a Pall Mall.

Here Are Truths and Half Truths:
He’s been struck by: police batons, tire irons, the staggering beauty of the Rockies, drunk drivers, chicken pox, the four-chord power of Greg Ginn, beer bottles, and his own inadequacy. He’s been struck by many other things but wants this list to be succinct.

He once shrimped a devil girl on Miami Beach in front of the Cameo Theater. If the last statement sounds puzzling, repugnant or both, AJ would explain, “Hey, The Cramps had just finished playing.” If you still don’t get it, he can live with that.

AJ wants to reassure the reader of the following: the squirrel hasn’t been forgotten. It was clearly a symbol that could use some explanation. It would be reasonable to deduce this experience and the fact it’s related above have something to do with cynicism and possibly a lack of remorse. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s also important to point out that seven-year-olds are incapable of feeling guilt, and truth of this feeling only exists within the sentence above.

When later research proves the claim regarding childhood guilt to be untrue, he’ll regret not depicting himself as few years older.

Here’s a truth:
Regardless of the aforementioned lie, he’s convinced truth is accessible through fiction. All narratives depend on lies because they depend on language, and language depends on metaphors, similes and similar falsehoods. Until you’re ready to embrace the truth within a lie, you’re unprepared to dice with the gods.

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