You can read it in Hobart #10 alongside sweet stories by Alicia Gifford, B.J. Hollars, Blake Butler, Claire Vaye Watkins, Amy Clark, Daniel Nester, JoeAnn Hart, Curtis Dawkins, Brad Gayman, Colleen Hollister, and Lori Ostlund, plus comics by Lydia Conklin and John Dermot Woods.
The bonus materials website is up. I am sixteen years old in the picture of me next to the mural. Other facts about the story: the punks in Ashland, OR really did drive an auctioned police car. Rain really rains like that in Oregon. Blueberries do help your memory. The community radio station in Oroville really does have carseats for couches. Oroville really does have a crazy mural guy. His name is Fred. He painted the Eiffel Tower below our swamp cooler. His nephew and I were friends. We rode go-karts. Disney did fire him. In the park is a mural of Ishi, who had to live in a jail for a little while. Sometimes I raced my sister around the park by running on the park wall, which is three feet high and the color of adobe. People steal computer monitors and wooden Indians from the stores downtown. There's a well in the park that doesn't work. There's an alley called Miner's Alley where no one ever parks because they're all at the casino. One day my mother bought me a cowboy shirt, but it didn't fit, so I exchanged it for an authentic Toby Keith hat. What makes me nostalgic are levies, abandoned shopping carts, dogs that swim for no reason, green bridges, bottles of peppermint schnapps broken on trestles, and the California foothill sunset, which is a blind horse with a yellow tongue.