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June 8, 2009

Kevin Wilson Featured in dislocate #5

dislocate's Featured Author of the Summer: Kevin Wilson

You've seen him in the New York Times; now you can see him in dislocate!

Kevin Wilson is the author of the collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/Harper Perennial, 2009). His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere, and has twice been included in the New Stories from the South: The Year's Best anthology. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his son, Griff, where he teaches fiction at the University of the South and helps run the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Pick up a copy of dislocate to read Kevin's story "The Vanishing Husband." Want a taste? Check it out:


The Vanishing Husband

My bed split in two while I was away at work. Where there had this morning been a single king-sized bed, now sit two brand-new double beds spaced a few feet apart from each other. In the span of a few hours, it has split apart like a cell dividing. Two from one. Blessa was sitting on our front porch, rocking slowly on the swing, when I pulled into the driveway. I remember driving up and watching her legs move slowly with the swing, the way her feet stretched out in front of her, and I was happy. I was happy to be at our large, comfortable house, and I was looking forward to a quiet dinner of pasta and some kind of vegetable dish and a bottle of wine. The usual. The good things we had afforded ourselves. And then she tells me, "Yelt, I want you to come see the beds." I thought the way she phrased it was odd at first, cause up to that point I had remembered only one bed in our house. But she was right. Two beds.

Our previous bed, the single bed, was a nice one. It was a king-sized sleeper with lots of springs and cushion, the kind you can drop watermelons on from high distances and not topple a tower of champagne glasses. And it was true, the watermelons onto the bed, because we tried it the first night Blessa and I had brought it home from the store. One of us stood on a ladder with a watermelon while the other stacked champagne glasses, and no, the glasses would not move. The bed was comfortable and warm and held both of us with room to spare. And now it is gone. I cannot make heads or tails of it, try to imagine someone slipping in during the afternoon and taking a chainsaw to the bed, moving the two halves apart from each other. I look at Blessa, expecting to see the same puzzlement on her face. She is smiling, holding the hem of her sundress in her hands and squeezing tight. "Do you like it, Yelt?" It starts to come to me, slowly.

I do not understand things very well, am not what you would call a fast learner. I had thought she was just as baffled as I was, had spent the whole afternoon pacing the long hallways of our house, trying to understand why the bed had split. But here she is, crawling onto one of the beds, the one nearest the door, and beckoning me to lie down. So I do. I drape my sport coat over the easy chair that, thankfully, remains the same dimensions as when I had left, and sit down on the far corner of the bed and look over my shoulder at the other bed, which I assume will be mine. The bed is hard, the mattress not yet accustomed to the contours of my body. I ask her why there are now two beds and she tells me, "it just seemed like the thing to do, get some space."

Want more Kevin Wilson? Go here to buy our latest issue and read the full story! Need another reason? See what Kevin Wilson has to say about dislocate and another one of our authors, Adam Peterson. You can also check out Wilson's new book, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth.