I’m excited to announce that the podcast of my story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts,” is up at Podcastle. It’s interesting – and a bit odd – hearing someone else read a story I wrote, especially this one, which I’ve read aloud a couple of times. I like the casual tone Brian Lieberman reads the story with, which is a great match for the narrator’s voice.
I wrote this story at Clarion South, and was partly inspired by a story by Lee Battersby, one of our Clarion instructors. His story, “Through Soft Air,” was a ghost story about a man haunted by the ghosts of his fellow soldiers who died at war – a haunting that his children and grandchildren can’t understand, coming from a generation for whom the war is only history, not memory.
It got me thinking about the way that an entire generation can be haunted by ghosts – of a war, a holocaust, an epidemic. There’s a wide gap between the generation haunted by those ghosts and the generations that follow, who just haven’t lived through that same overwhelming loss. As a gay dude who came of age in the 1990s, I’d felt that type of gap with my older gay friends and mentors, whose lives had been so deeply shaped by the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Thinking about that generation gap was the seed for this story.
Have a listen!