Here we have two excerpts from the novel The Lists of Billy the Kid—exploring two different periods in the life of the outlaw William McCarty Antrim. The first tells of his birth and early childhood in New York City. The second is later in his life, as he approaches the end of it.
I’m twelve at the neighborhood block party. The band jams. Bales of hay are scattered around a little platform stage. Kids sway around the edges. Grown ups laugh and drink. Little kids run and race their bikes, jacked up on cotton candy.
The Halloween I was thirteen I went all dirty pirate. I scavenged one of my old man’s shirts and my mother’s silk pajama bottoms. I painted my eyes red to match my headscarf. I even got hold of a plastic saber.
A party at Spud’s place. I would’ve been fifteen. Spud was a dealer who lived on the first floor of a beat-up house. He was older, kind of an asshole. He had a girl named Melody.
María Sabina was no stranger to thresholds, she saw invisible creatures, the sacred mushrooms spoke through her—with her voice.
T. Motley is serializing Highlights from the Life of Raymond Roussel in the Brooklyn Rail, helped by a grant from the Spillway Fund, spillwayfund.org. Text translated from the French by Harry Mathews, Trevor Winkfield, Mark Ford, John Harmon, John Ashbery, Mark Polizzotti, Rupert Copeland Cuningham, and Fedra Rodriguez Hinojosa.
At that moment Rodolphe instructed the driver, who had passed the village of Sarcelles, to take the first road on the right, cross Villiers-le-Bel, and then turn left, heading straight. Turning to La Goualeuse, he said “Now that you’re satisfied with me, we can amuse ourselves with building castles in Spain. It doesn’t cost much, so you can’t reproach me for the expense.”
The secretaries explained first that a dead person’s soul goes wherever she’d expected to go. “Everyone wants to go to heaven,” I said. “It must be too crowded there.”
Nathan Place is a carbon-based organism who works by day as a video producer and by night as the peculiar cartoonist behind Golthar, Terror of the Deep. He grew up in New York City, but is just as tormented by living here as most people. He publishes a new Golthar every week on Instagram at @GoltharTerrorOfTheDeep.