Mickey Tettleton

Mickey Tettleton

(originally published @ Specter Magazine)

creative non-fiction by JAMES DAVID PATRICK

Randall hated pitching. He preferred fielding grounders and jumping the fence to retrieve home runs. But it was his turn, and there were no allowances in the rules for Rolaids Relievers. Jeff had collected four consecutive singles, groundballs beyond the pitcher, before turning to Mickey Tettleton, our favorite Major-League emulation, to cap his miracle comeback. The eophus pitch countered the Tettleton. With a hitter slinging a weightless plastic bat through the hitting zone at hernia-inducing speeds, it proved nearly impossible to wait long enough for the loping perabula to drop into the hitting zone. Jeff’s first and second swings resulted in air displacement, neither within three inches of Randall’s eophus. I expected a third. As Randall started his motion, Jeff stood tall (but still very short), limp-wristed, bat cocked. He waited… waited… waited… timing the moment he would throw his hands forward… and then… contact. More than contact. A roof shot, fair, careening off the pitched roof. (more…)

A Vinyl Revival

A Vinyl Revival

(originally published @ PANK Magazine)

an essay by James David Patrick

[Roxane Gay / July 15th, 2011 / This Modern Writer ]

It began innocently. These things often do. A Zenith turntable/8-track/cassette combo player rescued from my grandmother’s house in Wisconsin as we sorted through valuables and priceless non-valuables before the estate auction. I took a few of those records (leaving the crate of worn Roger Whitakers), a box full of 8-tracks and her guitar, a guitar that had always just been a piece of furniture. It wasn’t until after she died that I considered the significance of that guitar. Though other tchotchkes collected dust the guitar never did. Unfortunately these things often wait too long. Now that guitar sits, propped up against my own bookshelves and I still can’t help but wonder: What was her connection to music? And then, inevitably: What is my connection to music? (more…)

New

New

(originally published @ monkeybicycle.com)

a memoir by JAMES DAVID PATRICK

The date was ingrained in our heads. April 23rd, 1985. That was what they’d told us. We had to wait until the 25th – the day our truck made the delivery.

It was red and white and waxed up just for the occasion. When it turned into the driveway we abandoned our back-porch lookout, littered with empty Dr. Pepper cans and Cheetos, and ran outside to mount our pedaled steeds. (more…)

First Song

Music and movies have always been colored tabs on manila folders containing collections of moments and memories. Music recalls mental states better than any specific memory. I was listening to the Beastie Boys’ The In Sound From Way Out! when I misunderstood a three-way stop and crumpled the bumper on my Jeep (and totaled a Dodge Neon). The Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) came out a few weeks before a trip to Florida with my parents. Sitting on my suitcase outside a Hertz rental car at the Orlando airport, that CD provided the soundtrack for not only that vacation but the entire year that followed. I discovered the eccentricities and depth of Jazz music my junior year in college. I stayed up one night barely reading, barely studying for a Film Theory final because Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers demanded more attention than I could offer my studies. (more…)