Gauntlet Hair (what a crazy name) plays a kind of early-sounding Depeche Mode music with rather sedate and uninspired vocals. I liked the second half more than the first half, probably because there was more instrumental music.
Indeed, as the song ends and the Depeche Mode-vibe comes to the fore, I rather got into it. Especially the pianos at the end.
Shame about the vocals.
[READ: June 18, 2013] “Happy Trails”
I haven’t read a lot by Sherman Alexie, but I have enjoyed what I’ve read.
This story was quite short and was all about the disappearance and presumed death of his Uncle Hector.
One day Hector said he was going to hitchhike to Spokane. He walked out the door and was never head from again. The narrator says that Hector was his favorite relative (although he later says that he really wasn’t that great of a guy).
As the story picks up, it is four decades later and the narrator has decided to have a funeral for him. His mother says that she doesn’t think he’s actually dead but the narrator says that it has been forty years, he could have come back or written a letter. Or called.
Nevertheless, the narrator’s mother is good at funeral arranging, so she sets to work on the wake. And they used an empty casket which prompts one of many rather funny quotes from the story: “A hundred years from now, white archeologists are going to open that coffin, find it empty, and wonder what it all means.”
During the wake, the narrator revisits Hector’s life and Hector’s parents life–how they were just this side of the slave trade and how Hector himself was only just removed from the Indian wars–from genocide. How could he have been anything other than a violent man who died violently.
For the narrator has a theory as to what happened to Hector. At first he thinks that white men killed him, but he changes his mind and says that Hector was too smart to get involved with white men. He decides rather that Hector got involved with other Indians, got drunk and said somethings he shouldn’t have.
There’s another wonderful quote as the story ends, which the narrator’s father said to him:
All my kids were accidents. But you’re the best accident. You’re a car wreck with eagle feathers.
Despite the brevity of the story there were a number of quotable lines in it, which elevated this above just a short short story.