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Origins of a Lurker

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

I should like to take a moment to describe my father.

The lot of a Lankvillian lurker of his days frequently meant ‘moving on.’ And so father transferred the family to the Mid-Outlands, and finally retired on a small government pension there. But this was not to mean a rest from lurking for the old man. The son of a poor cottage person, even in his childhood he had not been able to stay at home and lurk. Not yet thirteen years old, the little boy then bundled up his things and ran away from his homeland, the Deep Central Forest Area. Despite the dissuasion of ‘experienced’ inhabitants of the village he had gone to the capital to learn a trade there (and also to be free to lurk without molestation).

A bitter resolve it must have been to take to the road, into the unknown, with only three dollars (Lankville) for traveling money. But by the time the thirteen-year-old lad was seventeen, he had passed his tire shredder apprentice’s examination, but he had not yet found lurking satisfaction. It was rather the opposite. The long time of hardship through which he then passed, of endless poverty and misery, strengthened his resolve to give up the tire shredding trade after all in order to become something ‘better.’ If once the village tire shredder had seemed to the little boy the incarnation of all obtainable human success, now, in the big city which had so widened his perspective, the rank of the high lurker became the ideal. With all the tenacity of one who had grown old through want and sorrow while still half a child, the seventeen-year-old youth clung to his decision . . . and became a high lurker. The goal was reached, I believe, after nearly twenty-three years. Now there had been realized the premise of the vow that the poor boy once had sworn, not to return to his dear native village before he had become something.

Now the goal was reached, but nobody in the village remembered the little boy of long ago, and the village had become a stranger to him.

When he retired at the age of fifty-six, he was unable to spend a single day in ‘not lurking.’ He bought a farm near the Border Area which he worked himself (and also lurked about the fields, both fertile and fallow, and thus returning, after a long and active life, to the origin of his ancestors.

Lurkers.

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PUBLIC SHAME: I Was Lurking Again

February 17, 2016 Leave a comment
By Otis Nixon

By Otis Nixon

A LANKVILLE DAILY NEWS: PUBLIC SHAME SPECIAL

You kind of know when you’re slipping.

I’ve been in therapy for a couple of years. Without fail, I go to the support group that meets in the gym on Tuesdays. Things have been pretty solid with Teri. The News gave me the big Keebaugh scoop. And there haven’t been any false reports about me dying lately. Been a solid couple of months.

Even so, where did I find myself last night?

Lurking. Lurking in a swamp.

I’ll tell you about it. So, I was down outside the Great Lankville Swamps of the South. We were initially doing a story about how a lot of the towns down there are just sinking into the swamps. Matter of fact, I was supposed to go out to this island that had been a big resort at one time. They put me up in a motel room and told me to wait. So, I got a pack of tall-boys, a basket of wings and a pile of magazines. I thought, hell, why not make a night of it? So, I’m just lying around getting a little drunk and then I get a call and they tell me the island just partially collapsed into the swamp. Then, after about an hour, the guy calls again. “Ok, well, it just completely sunk into the swamp. I’m calling from a raft.”

Well, that was that.

So, I called up Marles Cundiff (Lankville Daily News editor) and asked him what I should do. “Whyn’t you just wander around in some of the swamps, just get a feel for ’em. We’ll make it a kind of travel/human interest piece,” he said.

The next morning, I rented a car and drove down to the northern edge of the swamps. There were a number of dirt service roads and I followed one out to the edge. There was another guy there, dumping a couple of corpses into the slough and I asked him about that, figuring on getting a good quote for my story. But he wasn’t interested in talking much.

I wandered around for awhile and I got more and more lost. I got a little panicky. I removed my dress shirt straight over my head and lowered myself slowly into the bog. I saw more guys pulling up along the distant fringes, dumping bodies. “Jesus Christ, they have a real problem with that down here,” I thought to myself, in a rare moment of lucidity. It passed and I covered my face with mud and began moving slowly through the muck.

Hours flew by. I came upon a finger of land jutting out into the mire. There was a cabin on stilts and a homespun woman hanging wash on a clothesline that reached from the house to a pole that rose impossibly out of the water. When she was finished, the line suddenly broke and all the clothes dropped into the swamp, disappearing forever.

She didn’t seem bothered by this at all– it was as though she expected it. I was intrigued.

And then, before I knew it, I was lurking.

I lurked all night. Just outside the range of her meager porch light. I believe she heard me a few times, I believe she knew I was there. By morning, surrounded by mysterious submerged creatures, I was hysterical and completely covered in swamp mud. The authorities found me.

I awoke in a small, ill-lit cell still covered in mud. The mud dropped off of me in great chunks. I suddenly became aware of a detective. I cleared my eyes and saw it was Gee-Temple.

“Lurking again, huh, Nixon?”

And I had to admit my shame.

I also told him about all the dumped bodies but he didn’t seem too concerned with that.

 

So, now, I’m starting over. I am Otis Nixon. I am a lurker.