A couple months ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a “literary collaboration” at the Orlando Museum of Art’s “First Thursday” event. (These are basically the new thing, by the way. (Maybe they were also the old thing, too?) Museums/ aquariums/ science centers that open up for monthly “culture and cocktails” events…basically turning the museum into the world’s coolest bar for an evening.)
(picture from Wikipedia)
As part of our reading at the museum, I had to draft a story that took place at the I-Drive McDonalds here in Orlando, and because it was an “exquisite corpse”-style collaboration with five total authors (Susan Fallows, Jared Silvia, Tod Caviness, and Jonathan Kosik), I had to take the final sentence of the author who came before me, and (without seeing any of the other stories) attempt to write my story based entirely on that final sentence. Tod Caviness gifted me with the sentence, “Honey, I think your son wants a milkshake.”
So I wrote a story called “Consider the Milkshake,” which takes the McDonalds milkshake to some pretty bizarre places. I won’t spoil the story by revealing any of that here. (It was also an obvious homage to David Foster Wallace, who–despite my problems with the novel Infinite Jest–is probably the best damned personal essayist I’ve ever read.)
The story was just published online at Monkeybicycle, which–about a year ago–also published another Orlando story of mine. That story, “Fire in a Used-Car Lot,” also focused on a famous Orlando roadway: Orange Blossom Trail (or OBT, as the kids call it). So…two stories, two Orlando roads, one lit journal that’s awesome enough to publish my weirdo fiction. There you go.