I spent January of 1999 finishing and defending my graduate thesis on William S. Burroughs and doing my oral comprehensive exams for my MA. My work was interrupted when my friend Tony’s jilted ex-boyfriend snuck into his house, got into the bed they used to share, put his mother’s pistol in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. All of our friends were devastated and dramatic, but Tony seemed strangely indifferent. The next month, I moved to a loft apartment in Louisville with twenty dollars in my pocket and no lease. My new life there was interrupted when my brother Brian called to tell me our ten-year-old brother J.P. had hung himself from his bed by a sheet. He was ostensibly trying to do a wrestling maneuver he’d seen on TV. Everyone in the family was mortified when the Lawrence Journal-World, in the obituary, described it as a suicide. Ten-year-olds don’t kill themselves, do they?

Just added to The List and the Story: Out of the Nineties

AuthorJohn Proctor