Accelerated Paces. Travels Across Borders and Other by Jim Oaten

By Jim Oaten

Dodging down back-alleys in bomb-torn Beirut. Wheeling earlier God and site visitors in Mombassa, Kenya. Slipping round the edges of Alzheime's affliction, the Gulf conflict, and the eternity of CNN.

Set someplace among right here and the heat-death of the universe, Jim Oaten's debut assortment serves up random samples of literal and literary fact scooped up at most sensible velocity. no matter if peeking out from the backseat of mother and Dad's motor vehicle or surveying the dirty wings of psychological wards, Accelerated Paces hurdles that uneasy terrain among inventive truth and sincere fiction. those brief tales and items forget about borders as they jaunt thorough exterior journeys and inner voyages.

This is either inventive non-fiction and artistic fiction, which follows the belief of crossing limitations and blurring borders. This assortment is an specific demonstration of the way the 2 genres interaction, of the way a non-fiction occasion can motivate a fictional piece, and, curiously adequate, the opposite as well.

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You know what they were thinking when they saw that big cloud shoot up into that empty sky, they were thinking “thank god it stopped” because they didn’t fucking know. The whole time they worked on that project, even when they pushed that button, they were dealing with the possibility that the chain reaction wouldn’t stop; that the explosion couldn’t be contained and that the whole damn universe would go up in one blinding flash of light, and they pushed it anyhow … and that’s what these guys do to you, Gina.

Although I might have inherited this talent from my father, who managed to escape both Scotland and the dread routine of National Service. Instead of heading into the army, he grabbed my mother and ran off to the Caribbean where they rented motorcycles and plotted a future in Canada. I like to think of my parents this way: tanned and barefoot on the ledge of the future. They stopped in Hamilton in 1959. Some time after that I was born (in 1963) and some time after that I fell down a flight of stairs, creating my first memory.

Schizophrenic. Rory: Art teacher. James, Rachael, most of the affectives. Gina. I know where the MIAs are. They’re all up in the High Room. The small room on the second floor of the building that houses the Day program. The High Room is where intensive group therapy goes on, where the staff gets out their Freudian shovels and tries to dig down into the roots of people’s disorders. Lots of stuff about Mom and Dad, and the death of the family dog. It’s the place where all the Kleenexes are kept, and each of us, after a certain point, is given the option of skipping the Information Sessions and going up there instead.

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