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Fiction #497
(published July 29, 2010)
Snorri and Harley go to the Moon
(a Poor Mojo's Classic)
by Fritz Swanson
[As August 2010 marks the close of our tenth year of weekly publication, we shall spend this month enjoying "the blast from the past" with selections from Poor Mojo's Almanac(k): Year Three (issues 101-150). Please, enjoy!—Your Giant Squid, Editor-in-Chief, PMjA]

[originally published in issue #126]


A man named Harley slept deep on Friday, his dog down at the foot of the bed, when he saw that the sky was a giant walkway to a thousand million places like god (that is everywhere, even inside other-wheres and other-feelings like the God in the Basket, the God in the Blonde, the God in the Sadness and the God in You). One of those walkways, red with green stripes, arched directly to the moon, and the sleeping Harley got up out of his queen-sized bed (with no Queen), and he got his sleeping dog still sleeping to crawl slowly along the green and red highway to the moon.

Sad Harley had only his dog Snorri to keep him company on the long, long highway, which was longer and more mist-covered than he could have ever expected. They both remained asleep, walking toe to heel so as not to stumble, slip, fall, wake themselves up and ruin the whole slam bam dream.

The stars were there all right. Don't get me wrong, but they were just twinkling little men with fiery beards. Real fire for long beards, and they had little hats, pointed and blue.

Snorri and Harley stumbled along, and Harley looked down and saw that Snorri was wearing the exact same set of pajamas that Veronica, his old, gone girlfriend, used to wear on winter nights: green and red plaid flannel with little cotton booties and a stocking cap knitted from wool dyed coal-black.

Harley sat down then on the side of the high curving highway to the moon, and he laid his hand on Snorri's sleeping brow.

"Are you tired, Snorri?"

The dog looked up at Harley with soulful brown eyes, the kind that dogs rarely show you, and the dog licked him along his stubbly gray cheek. Sympathy, thought Snorri the dog, who was not used to cognitive distinctions finer than happy or sad. Silently he struggled to express this new and important reality.

"Yeah, I'm tired too. Very tired," Harley said.

Harley's feet hung over the side of the high up highway to the moon, and he looked straight down at his knees, his feet swishing back and forth in the stratosphere, the pointy blue hats of the stars tickling the bare souls of his feet. Soles. I know what the hell I am talking about.

Then Harley got up. And he pulled Snorri to his four feet as well.

"Come on, Snorri, we can't keep stopping like this. We've got to keep on keeping on. Yep, that's what Dad always used to say to me. 'We've got to keep on keeping on.' To the Moon."

But Harley didn't move, he just stared down at Snorri in the green and red pajamas, those silly and unsexy pajamas that can make you love a woman more than a thousand red lips, his hands hanging impotent at his side. There was absolutely no conviction in his voice whatsoever.

"New beginnings on the moon, that's what I hear," Harley said, but did not move.

Snorri rubbed his nose against Harley's ankle, and the wet, like a soft kiss, was un-defineable, but somehow still it made Harley mist up in the eyes and want desperately to go home.

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by Ben Stroud

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