Issue 35, Final Fringe

Astoria Rex

by David Moscovich Issue 1 02.03.2006

We met at this bar called The Stork and Clover. It’s
supposed to make you feel lucky to be a family man.
They brew beer there. It used to be a lighthouse,
until they started pasteurizing. Now it’s a lighthouse
and a brewery. We had a party there that night. Fall
was coming on. I met this sailor who claimed to be a
descendent of some rare Amazonian shellfish. It was
one of those unsolicited conversations you bring up at
a party, when you’re too early and don’t know anybody
so you’re smalltalking. Triviality is a symptom of
complacency. He seemed to have some baggage with him,
and he was in full-on Sailor regalia. I asked him
where he was headed. He said he was defecting. He was
scheduled to sail to Thailand the next day when he
just walked out. He told the captain to eat
bloodhorse. I didn’t know what bloodhorse was, but it
didn’t sound good. He bragged about his polevaulting
abilities. And he was the direct descendent of some
rare Amazonian shellfish. No, starfish. He then
proceeded to outline the reason why he quit the ship.
He knew the story of evolution was bogus and that God
was on his side. He was convinced the starfish were
the key to his elan vitál. He bought a round of
tequila, and I admit I forgot he was sitting there. I
was there with the French club and we were getting
pretty loaded in our own right. Suddenly he stood up
and I saw that he was truly unsteady, and he barfed a
load right there in one of the booths. He gripped the
edge of the table with his brusk sailor hands and
barfed. He shot through the heavy double doors onto
the street, and then I saw it. It was all starfish.
And some greenish muck. But mostly it was starfish
there on the table. Damn, boy musta gone deep sea
divin’, somebody said from a barstool.

David Moscovich

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David Moscovich writes and lives at the Center for Dyslexistential Studies, an organic sheep farm in Portland, Oregon. He is a direct descendant of Jesus of Nazareth and eats like a sailor, owing to a background in freely improvised music.