“Why We Will Always Love You, Vera Knightville” by Stace Budzko

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About the Author
Stace Budzko has been published or is forthcoming in Fiction Attic Press Anthology, Southeast Review, Inch, The Journal of Compressed Arts, Blip, Quiddity, Versal, Bridport Prize Anthology, Upstreet, Necessary Fiction, Prime Number, Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction, Press 53, PANK, Hobart, elimae, The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, The Collagist, Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Forward, Brevity & Echo and elsewhere. The screen adaptations of his stories, “How to Set a House on Fire,” “North End, 2010” and “Why I Don’t Keep a Daily Planner” have garnered numerous honors and awards as well as art and festival showcases. At present, he teaches and coordinates The Creative Writers Workshop at Emerson College.
Why We Will Always Love You, Vera Knightville

Because back then we could show up at your trailer any time, any day, on weekends, on holidays. Because while your kids were scampering about in newspaper diapers we were scoring pin joints for three dollars a pop. Because how-do-you-do’s were kept at a minimum, because questions about books or parents or tomorrow were never asked. And most certainly because you always supplied us with the sweetest kind bud. So yeah, when I say we will always love you, Vera Knightville, I mean this. And I think I can speak for all of us when I say this has nothing to do with the fact that Jimmy Gallagher, nearly gray, still lives at home and spends his days cutting beaver figures out of logs with a chainsaw. This has nothing to do with you. At the same time this is not about Mark Trophy, who continues to scream around your neighborhood in the same Volkswagen blasting Van Halen, twin boys in tow. Although you’ve been gone for some time you weren’t the cause of this. In fact, others like Raymond Stills and Charlie Carroll only ended up living in cabins off the grid because they liked to shoot guns without the hassle. Again – not your fault. As for me, there’s this takeaway: we had to laugh to look at each other. In those strange and wonderful visits, when you were smoking us with whatever, there’s shame in every home lines, I would be the first on the floor, hysterical. So maybe because of this silly truth, or perhaps because how dope is being slung today, so impersonally, the reality of some mother just trying to feed her family is not so funny any more.

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