Two counselors. Admit it—psychologists. Two of them. How have you come to this? Well, that’s pretty much a rhetorical question. Lack of conviction. Separated from your wife, infatuated with another woman, living in a crappy apartment with odds and ends of crappy furniture, mismatched dishes and cutlery, a cheap TV set that gives you eyestrain. And speaking of eyestrain, trying to write a career-saving novel on an outdated laptop that may run out of memory before you run out of things to say. You hope neither will happen.
At least there’s a balcony with a view of the swimming pool, though it’s covered now for winter by canvas and a few inches of snow. And recently, the view of a pigeon slamming into the sliding door and dropping among the two wrought-iron chairs and tiny table. Trying to get away from what? Less than a second later the answer swooped down, a giant rust-colored hawk that snatched and carried off the hapless pigeon in a hallucinatory flash. But the moment was real, attested to by a few drifting feathers and talon marks in the crusted snow. You tried not to see it as an omen.
Arnold Johnston's poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. His plays, and others written in collaboration with his wife, Deborah Ann Percy, have won over 300 productions and readings, and they’ve written, co-written, edited, or translated over twenty books. Arnie’s latest projects are The Infernal Now (poetry, Kelsay Books, 2022); Where We’re Going, Where We’ve Been, (poetry, FutureCycle Press, 2020); Swept Away (novel, Atmosphere Press, 2021), and Mr. Robert Monkey Returns to New York (a collaborative children's book with Debby, Brandylane Publishers, 2021). A performer-singer, Arnie has played many solo concerts and over 100 roles on stage, screen, and radio. He was chairman of the English Department (1997-2007) and taught for many years at Western Michigan University.