Crapalachia: A Biography of Place

Free Crapalachia: A Biography of Place by Scott McClanahan

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Authors: Scott McClanahan
orange pill bottle and sat it on the counter. Then he took out another orange pill bottle and sat it on the counter. Then he took out another orange pill bottle and put it up on the counter too. He took another and another and then he took out another five and put them one by one by one by one on the table until they were all lined up on the shelf like little soldiers. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11.
     
    “What is this stuff,” I asked again. Bill just smiled and told me that he was psycho.
    Isn’t everyone?
    That’s when “Dust in the Wind” started. He turned on his CD player and sat down on his bed and listened.
    He said, “You like ‘Dust in the Wind’?”
    I said sure and started putting away all of my stuff that I brought with me. I tried not to think about Nathan or Ruby or graveyards.
    I listened to the song: I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment’s gone.
    Then Bill went over to the scale and weighed himself.
    He weighed 225 pounds.
    Then he got off and weighed himself again.
    He weighed 225 pounds.
    Then he told me the story of the Greenbrier Ghost.

THE STORY OF THE GREENBRIER GHOST
    It was about this woman named Zona who suddenly died back in the 1890s. Her husband was so overcome with grief that he put a red ribbon around her neck and he buried her without letting the other women prepare the body. Weeks later her mother woke up and Zona’s ghost was at the foot of her bed. She told her mother that her husband murdered her. He killed me, Mommy. He strangled me and broke my neck.
    Her mother went to the sheriff and they exhumed her body. They found her neck was broken. It was just like the ghost said.
    Then Bill told me it was the only case in the history of the country where a man has been convicted of murder on the second-hand testimony of a ghost. This story didn’t cheer me up.
    The song finally ended and he hit play again. I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment’s gone.
    Then he went and weighed himself again.
    He weighed 225 pounds.
     
    There were other things Bill did too. He washed his hands. He took a hell of a lot of showers. He washed his hands some more. He sprayed some more Lysol. He weighed himself again. He weighed 225 pounds. He told me about the Greenbrier Ghost again.
    Then he played “Dust in the Wind.”
     
    I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment’s gone.
     
    I asked him if he had to listen to the song again. He said, “I thought you liked Kansas?”
    I told him I was just being nice.
    He turned it off. Then he started spraying the walls down with some more Lysol. “You’ll see one day,” he said. “You’ll see.” Then he played Kansas, I close my eyes…
     
    So that night Bill told me what was wrong with him. He told me he had a condition called OCD.
     
     
    A LIST OF OCD SYMPTOMS IN CASE YOU ARE A HYPOCHONDRIAC AND WONDERING IF YOU MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM OCD:
    1. Compulsive actions in order to alleviate anxiety.
    2. Obsessive thoughts in order to alleviate anxiety.
    3. A combination of compulsive actions and obsessive thoughts in order to alleviate anxiety.
    4. Constant obsession with a particular repetition of actions/ and or thought patterns.
    Then he told me how it happened.
    He told me how he first knew something was wrong with him when he was ten years old. He was sitting up on the counter eating a giant bag of cheeseballs. He was covered in orange cheeseball dust. It was on his hands and it was on his fingers and it was on his face. He kept eating the cheeseballs and before long he started thinking that he was turning into a cheeseball too. All of a sudden his mother and brother came into the room and he started yelling at them: “Don’t eat me. I’m a cheeseball. I’m a cheeseball.”
    So he jumped off the counter and before long he started running around because he thought they were trying to eat him. Of course, this freaked them out so they chased after him thinking that something was wrong. They chased him around the house.

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