Excerpt from FALLOUT:

Here I am, waiting for the final proof of my book to be completed, and my process hasn’t stopped, but continues. This is going to sound crazier to the reader than anything to date, but it is bringing me a sense of peace. I realized that I can’t just leave my father all alone and unhappy in his small , shabby room while I blithely puiblish my first book without the dedication I promised him. And yet it can’t be the dedication he envisioned. In my mind’s eye I had to do something to definitively deal with him, and so to go on with my life I am putting him in a homey room with his mother Sary, his tennis loving cup, his bridge-playing partners from long ago, a tuned piano and a good cup of coffee.and even his Camel cigarettes. He no longer has sinus problems or Tourette’s, and he is not drinking alcohol or lusting. He is as content as it is possible for him to be. In my mind’s eye he is cracking a joke and feeling relaxed and valued. And his untapped writing talent has been unleashed. His old typewriter has many finished pages beside it, and he is in touch with the good man in him which has been burierd under childhood hurts. And now, knowing he is in a good place (although imaginary), in the sacred unfolding of love, I can truly let him be. I have backtracked and do  dedicate this book to him, in good faith and love. Nothing in the book proper foretells this, as I have written from a different, concomitant truth.

(See Dedication, below).

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to my father, Alton Ellison B.

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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