A Backward Gesture (E. Nolan)

Alan made me listen to the whole album backward in his room before he’d let me leave. “There it is again,” he said, pointing to his computer. “Howie roard zoern. That’s backward for, ‘Do it, Alan. Do it.’”

“No, it’s not,” I told him. “It’s backward nothing.”

Alan started doing his little backward dance to the backward music, trying to jump backward, arms extended toward the ceiling, reaching for the glow-in-the-dark black light stars.

Earlier, Alan made me say, “Cuff, cuff, cuff” into the microphone, and he played it backward so it said, “Fuck, fuck, fuck.” I looked at the black light posters. There was one of a penguin reading a book upside down on the bottom of a globe. I looked for a black light. There was none.


E. Nolan‘s work has been published or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Passages North, X-R-A-Y as well as other magazines. He has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Florida and he teaches English as a New Language in a public middle school in the Bronx. In his free time he composes background music for reality TV.


image: Lindsay Hargrave