Jim Gavin, “The Copy Chief”

69After a decade spent surfing and working at a gas station, Eddie becomes a newspaperman.

(from Zoetrope: All-Story, Summer 2014)

I had a sublet in Mar Vista. My roommate, Brett, was creepy and docile and generally representative of the kind of people who come into your life via Craigslist. I think he was in grad school. He ate incredible amounts of soup and played WWII video games with a silent, frothing passion. Due to my schedule, I rarely saw him, and I was creepy in my own ways. Every night after work I got Del Taco and stayed up late watching TV. I got hooked on The Rockford Files.

I always have such a hard time summarizing these stories. This story isn’t really about Eddie working at a newspaper, or it’s kind of about that, but it’s also about his struggle to live after both of his parents die at a young age; it’s about his friendship with his boss, Gus, who fakes his own death; it’s about living in poverty even after you get a “real” job.” It’s about having a roommate you call “Brett” for six months before you find out his name is actually Brent. I can’t find the quote, but Flannery O’Connor said something along the lines of, ‘if someone asks what your story is about, tell him to read the story,’ which is exactly right. If you can actually tell me what a story is about then I don’t want to read it. I don’t need to read it.

Anyhow, I love the voice and really enjoyed this story. I could spend a lot more time with Eddie. Read some of “The Copy Chief” here and then buy the current issue of Zoetrope.

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