LONG NIGHTS IN THE DESERT

ink, risograph


A  risographed short story about having an ancient pagan god as a neighbor. At the time of its conception, I was living in a large shared house with five or seven roommates--I could never tell exactly how many were there at any given time--they came and went, and often moved in or out without anyone noticing. There was also an emotionally disturbed pitbull who often tried to eat me. We had a WhatsApp group chat, where we’d have to announce our arrival, so that the landlady could stow the dog away while you went up to your room. Around that time I heard Dubravka Ugrešić mention a lost novel by Doivber Levin (a largely forgotten contemporary of Kharms and Vvedensky) about a simply Soviet citizen living next door to some kind of fantastical creature. I couldn’t find anything of Levin’s, with the exception of a middling collection of naturalistic sketches--it seems that the entirety of his avant-garde output had been lost. Then one day I woke up to a sound that could be the dog tearing up a small animal, or my neighbors having sex, or both. Who’s the graphic memoirist now?


©2022 Roman Muradov