Summer 1993 • Vol. XV No. 3 FictionJuly 1, 1993 |

The Safest Place to Be

You hear things, Deeker would say, laying his head on the tracks, listen, listen. What kinds of things? I would ask. Deep, growling voices sometimes, sometimes windy sounds, sometimes windy sounds. Deeker had a habit of repeating what he said in a whisper to himself, but loud enough for me to hear. My mother called it echolalia and said he would grow out of it. When I told Deeker this, he seemed to like the idea. Echolalia, he said, echolalia, echolalia. He played it like a joke on itself, like the Lackawanna, the Erie Lackawanna. Deeker would lay his head on the railway tracks to listen. Not on the steel rails like we all did to hear the oncoming trains, but on the wooden ties. He told me that they spoke to him, that they made the best noise of all---a low-pitched explosion of soft booms that he felt tumbling in his stomach. But he would lay his head to listen on almost anything solid: tree trunks, stones, discarded glass jars, and in the spring he said that the hard buds of th

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Talk to Me Jenny

By Karen E. Bender

You hear things, Deeker would say, laying his head on the tracks, listen, listen. What kinds of things? I would ask. Deep, growling voices sometimes, sometimes windy sounds, sometimes windy […]

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