Uncle Earl

My uncle Earl was a red-complected, hoarse-voiced, high-degree mason, a terror to my gentle Aunt Pauline in his wintertime alcoholic backslidings. He kept Doberman pinschers in the yard, and one would occasionally burst into the house, excited to the point of derangement, snarling and charging about the room with a pink and slippery-looking erected penis, ejaculating on the furniture and legs of guests. He never acknowledged my existence, considered me a contemptible pussy, but I knew him as a secret dreamer. There in the Illinois countryside, he pondered Country Gentleman magazine, and adorned his farm with hedgerows of multiflora rose.

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Paul Strohm grew up in Western Springs, Illinois. He has taught medieval literature at Oxford and Columbia. He now divides his time between Oxford and Brooklyn, and writes freelance.

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