Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Thomas Glynn

Temporary Sanity

Temporary Sanity
by Thomas Glynn

Paperback
1976
Price: $9.95

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About the author:

Thomas Glynn is the author of three novels: Temporary Sanity, The Building, and Watching the Body Burn. He is also the author of a book that mixes fiction and non-fiction: Hammer. Nail. Wood. The Compulsion to Build. He has published over 2 dozen short stories.

About Temporary Sanity:

Jarrel likes to play with dynamite. Jeeter likes to drive pick-up trucks down muddy Adirondack logging roads at 50 miles an hour, sideways. Both of them, flirting with sanity, plot to dynamite a third brother, Lester, from a mental institution. The elements of that plot include a woman farmer, an Indian who just may be able to fly, and of course, Lester, whose only crime against sanity is the ability to sit in a wheelbarrow, pick his scabs, and question the sky. Together, the five of them structure a fragile existence in the north country of upper New York State, an area where farming has ceased to be fashionable of profitable but merely a series of deadly exercises in survival. What happens when the caprice of their personalities, the struggle for existence, and the authorities chip away at their unstable cohesiveness, provides the backbone of the novel. By turns comic, tragic, and clumsy, Temporary Sanity explores a fictional county where the desperation of dirt farming produces a mind that questions not just the limits of sanity, but indeed its rightful continent.


Excerpt


Jarrel didn't say nothing the whole way down. He just sat in a corner of the cab and let Jeeter do the driving. Jeeter liked to drive but he didn't drive well. He drove right on top pf the white line, the one in the middle, and he liked to look around while he drove and if he was driving and saw something he liked he'd keep his eyes on it and forget all about driving. That's how Jarrel got tossed through the windshield. But Jarrel didn't want to drive this time. He wanted to hold the dynamite.


He sat holding one of the sticks. It looked like a long brown tube with a heavy wax coating. The ends were nearly tucked in under a small round cardboard disc.


He had a dozen of these sticks and he put them up to his nose to make sure it was dynamite. All he could smell was the wax. Goddamn if it wasn't dynamite. Goddamn.


The speedometer needle kept bouncing around between 45 and 55. Damn that Chevy anyway. Jeeter had his foot flat over the accelerator and his arms draped over the steering wheel and he was singing and swaying from side to side and the pickup kept veering from one side of the road to the other. There weren't many cars on this road. It was an old Adirondacks road, mostly used for logging, and cars didn't like to use it because the logging trucks didn't care who they shoved off the road. Once they started up one of those big diesels the only thing that could stop it was a flat tire or a forest fire. Jarrel knew. He used to drive one. He'd knocked town cars clean off the road with the back of his tandem. Twenty tons of logs would give them a gentle little pat on the side and Jarrel will watch through his mirror how they off the road like they hit a bump or something and flew into the trees.