“Modal Realism” by David Joez Villaverde


Father, I had a dream where Tom Wolfe and Joan Didion had a baby. It was physically frail, with a birdlike frame, crying as only a monster aware of its own monstrosity can cry, like the baby from Eraserhead or cicadas in languid summer afternoons. It was racist, aloof, classist, effete—but most of all it was a superb writer of portentous talent. It wore Wolfe’s Colonel Sanders hand-me-downs and espoused neo-con philosophy. It was writing a story to end all stories it said, a story “built of fragments, containing every story ever told.” It had to be stopped. I went to squash it like the weak little grub that it was, but I woke before I could. Did I succeed? Or is it still alive in my dream? Once a reality is seen can it ever cease to exist? Or does it still live on in the multiverse, floating on like psychic jetsam tangentially touching the dreams of others? Am I awake now or is this the dream? Father, I have the sinking feeling that the thing that wakes men from nightmares is the same thing that keeps them glued to one.




David Joez Villaverde is a Peruvian American writer with forthcoming work in Dream Pop Press, Mortar Magazine, and Crab Fat Magazine, and with recently published work in Occulum, Wigleaf, 100 Word Short Story, and Adbusters. He is a former editor of the After Happy Hour Review. He resides in Detroit and can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com or on Twitter.


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