Originally published in Willow Springs 85
From the author
Notes on “Mushroom Boys”
“Mushroom Boys” developed in the same way that most of my work does—I began with a voice and an image (the young men unconscious under a ceiling fan), and I then followed the voice as I wrote. In revision, I realized it was very important to me that the story have an uneven relationship to point of view, and that the omniscience is roving but not necessarily all-knowing. I wanted to experiment formally with a method of collective storytelling. I kept thinking about the ways that deep friendships, even (especially?) those that are fraught or full of conflict, can create a sense of community experience and communal decision-making, and I was hoping to mimic that experience in the narration. This created various technical difficulties from the start; I am obviously not the first to observe that storytelling in the American tradition tends to belong to the individual, and that the majority of stories considered to be successful at their aims are usually connected to exploring the experience of the individual. My greatest challenge in writing this piece was keeping the reading experience from being so disorienting or confusing that readers might be unable to follow.
Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.
So, no tattoos, no pets, and I’m still listening to the same music I’ve been listening to since I was 16; I made my students listen to The Zombie’s “Care of Cell 44” on repeat accidentally this week, and I didn’t notice for like twenty minutes. They hated it. In all the things I consume I’m generally boring! So I think instead I’ll tell you about my favorite plant, who I call Purple Friend. He looks like a demon and he is impossible to kill. He has deep green leaves that are covered in a neon purple fuzz, and what he is, or where he comes from, cannot at this time be identified. After every attempt on his life he emerges stronger than ever. At the moment, he is mortally weakened because I watered him too much (he resists all forms of love) and he still has two long vines crawling down my bookcase, and at the ends they curl up and reach out, like beckoning hands. And a third vine has newly sprouted, jagged and inquisitive. Guests are afraid of and disturbed by him, and usually react in surprised horror when seeing him for the first time. I assume he is from hell and I would be honored to one day die by his hand.
About Bridget Adams
Bridget Adams‘ fiction is published in The Sun, Hobart, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. A winner of the Devine Fellowship, she holds an MFA in Fiction from Bowling Green State University and is currently at work on her PhD at Florida State University. You can follow her on Twitter at @piratelawyer89.