Saturday, February 24, 2007

Contents Of A Dead Man's Pockets

Charles Gramlich has recently posted on overlooked writers and I'd have to add Jack Finney to the lot. Most known for his novel INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, he wrote several novellas involving time travel and ghosts of Hollywood actresses in the 1920s, and some of the best damn short stories this side of Robert Bloch. There is a story that has stayed in my head since high school, and I have never seen this story in a collection (The Chicago Public Library information desk verified it was indeed Finney), but it is still crystal clear in my mind. A man in a Manhattan skyscraper finds himself on a ledge after trying to retrieve an errant legal document that has flown out the window. His suit jacket is on his chair and he ponders what people would make of the loose change and laundry tickets in his various pockets, none of which held his ID. I have in my wallet a folded piece of hotel writing paper a note someone has written, hoping to find information about a dead friend. Perhaps notes were left on buses everywhere; I found this as my eyes strayed from a Dennis Lehane novel in the year 2000. I look at the words every so often and wonder if the writer ever did get the information (s)he wanted, from the somewhat primitive way of leaving notes, or at least that one, solitary note. I'd like to think that there were more out there, that autumn weekday 7 years ago. I reflected on what might found on my body should the Reaper take me for my last ride to the dirt nap farm. I almost posted a photo from my mugging last summer when my wallet was indeed stolen and I was kicked into a muddy drainpipe on a day that rained torrents. I chronicle everything, my friend Greg took the photos as my wounds were still wet. It doesn't belong to this post, though, because these words are not about graphic photos, but of varied items of note and a tiny pleading for information on the dead Eddie Curry. RIP, Mr. Curry.