Locust House Variations, A Fiction Column by Adam Gnade, “the Rib Crib”

There’s a road sign for a barbecue place called “the Rib Crib.” I say it out loud as we pass and she says, “Gross.”

Winter fields passing—tawny yellow, a grayboard farmhouse leaning to ruin, bare trees, black powerlines veining the sky, a dead world but the bluest of skies.

A dead world. Yeah. But spring is coming.

Spring, when all of this will jump back to life. It will return with a sweet vitality that will surprise you.

Here in the middle of the map, there is something courageous about spring. But of course seasons don’t have courage or a lack of it. This doesn’t matter. It’s “courageous spring” because we need it, because we put so much hope and belief in it.

This I ask of the universe—give us spring, give us something to believe in, to hope about. Because if you don’t have something to look forward to? That’s when you start thinking shit like, “What’s the use?” I never want to ask myself “What’s the use?” again. I want the use to be known, to be present, a thing to grab onto and stay afloat with when the river casts to a surge.

So there it is. The first day of spring. Monday, March 20th. It’s just around the corner, and when it’s here you will wake up one morning and you will know and you will be glad in the knowing.Adam Gnade

Purchase Locust House here.