barneys_crew_cover_womanOn some nights, you just know you’re going to bomb.  If you’re lucky, someone’s there to record it.

Mickey Hess went first.  He couldn’t buy a laugh in that overheated art gallery.  And his story was funnier than the one I was planning on reading.  Joe Meno went second.  He met a wall of apathy.  And his story was more heartfelt than the one I was planning on reading.  I knew the signs.

I’d done so many readings at this point that I knew exactly how to react: read the shortest of my stories and call it a night.  For some reason, I didn’t follow that very simple advice.  Maybe it was the swampy Montreal summer heat making me ornery.  Maybe it was something about the crowd.  They were too urban, too hip for a rogue like me.  Maybe I just felt like lingering over a long story.  Who knows.

Anyway, in the face of the hostile crowd, I picked the longest story in my repertoire, and I read it nice and slowly.  Eighteen minutes, all told.  And the owner of the art gallery recorded it.  Slapped it up on the web for anyone to hear.

Last night, I was thinking about bummer readings and this night in Montreal in 2005 came to mind.  I knew that the art gallery owner had posted this sucker online.  I wondered if it was still there.  A quick Google search revealed that it is.  So, if you’re interested, you’re welcome to listen to a hot and awkward live reading of my short story “The Last Days at Fulton County Stadium” from the collection Barney’s Crew.  Just click the link below.

Sean_Carswell_Last Days at Fulton County Stadium