Fiction from NER 33.1.
The last time I saw my father was on Monument Square. It was a Friday. I was thirteen years old. My school and my father’s office were within walking distance of the square, and so every Friday afternoon at four we met there in front of the monument and then walked to one of the nearby restaurants, where he had a martini and I had a soda and we talked and drank until my mother joined us there for dinner. I was a few minutes early that day, and since I was standing in front of the monument with nothing better to do, I decided to read the plaque on its base. I’d stood there next to the monument dozens of times, but had never bothered to find out who it was supposed to memorialize: it could have memorialized a guy named Monument for all I knew. But it didn’t: the plaque said it memorialized George Washington, whom the plaque called “the Father of the Revolution.”
Brock Clarke is the author of five works of fiction, most recently the novels Exley (Algonquin, 2011) and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (Algonquin, 2008). His fiction and nonfiction have been included in a number of magazines, journals, newspapers, and anthologies, and have earned him an NEA Literature fellowship, the Mary McCarthy Prize, and the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, among other awards. He teaches at Bowdoin College and lives in Portland, Maine.