Home > A Library of Quiet VOICES > Rock On – by Michelle Elvy

Rock On – by Michelle Elvy

Rock on

by Michelle Elvy

Inspired by Christian Bell’s This is Not A George Saunders Story

It’s dark in here.

Well what do you expect?

Yeah, I know, it’s just that, sometimes,

I’d like to get out.

It’s your choice.

Is it?


I mean, I read. I’ve been around.

You’re from Oklahoma.

So they say…

What d’ya mean?

Not Arizona.

Huh? Never mind, it’s OK: no one remembers

their birth.

Yeah, but most people remember some

things, don’t they?

Of course, but so do you.

Like what?

Well, what did you last read?


You said you read, so what do you read

regularly? The NYT?

(blank stare)

Do you live under a fucking….?

Never mind. The WSJ?


The LAT?

I once read a book by George Saunders.

That objectivitst writer?

No, he’s not objectivist any more –

he denounced Rand and her neo-cons.

Woah, you do read.

I’m wiki-mad.


Can’t fit too many books under here, can I?

That Saunders: he’s smart, eh?

Well they don’t call it a genius grant for nothin’.

*   *   *

Hey, you know what? We should go out.

Out? Out?!

Well, yeah, don’t you ever think

you might wanna?

Is that a trick question?

Well why not? What are you waiting for?

Turnips? Radishes? No, carrots! Just a

goddamn carrot.

You’re being obtuse. Let’s go meet

some people.

Don’t know the local language.

I can teach you. Say ‘bonjour.’

They speak Spanish here?

Good lord, man! This ain’t Spain!

Well how should I know?

Jeez, you’re a regular Eliza Doolittle.

Hey! I’m a guy, dude.

So? still the same idea. Rain in Spain

and all that.

Well I never been to Spain.

That’s not the point.

But I kinda like the music.

You don’t play any music.

Naw, but I used to have a tape deck.

You mean a CD player.

Naw, man, 8-track.

Good lord, you need to get out.

You at least need company under here.

Two can be as a bad as one….

*   *    *

OK, fine. Play me something.

Anything but your old 8-tracks.

Wait, let’s play Mortal Combat: Annihilation.

You know I hate those games.

Dysfunction, dysfunction, dysfunction is a function.

You are dysfunction.

If dysfunction is a function, then I must be

some kind of ge-ni-us!!

Come on. You’re too alone under here.

You’re here.

*   *    *

You know, you can make this world

whatever you want it to be.

It’s too dark.

So make a little light.

Can’t — but maybe that guy in that cave

will lend me his torch.

I’m leaving.

Suit yourself. I’m gonna name my rock,

by the way — call it ‘genius granite’.

You never even read a Saunders book.

So? I got internet, dude.

Come on, I’ll take you to the library.

Well I guess if I gotta go somewhere,

that ain’t a bad first choice. But let’s stop

and eat, too — I’m starvin’, man. But I don’t

eat fast food. Could do with some tapas, though.

Have you been sneaking out?

No, just fancy the idea of tapas… Spain an’ all.

OK, come on, let’s go.

Alright… but I’m a little nervous…

fuck it’s bright out here! …

Oh, look, a daisy!

That’s not a daisy, you idiot.

It’s a jonquil.

What does it matter?

What does it matter?

  1. claireking
    June 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Ooh I just saw this on Fictionaut. It’s great – strange voices in the dark, kind of great – and not a daisy.

  2. drwasy
    June 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Love this — the form, the content, the verve. Peace…

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