7. Welcome to Night Vale: “Your Thoughts Return to the Dog Park” #CaPC25

All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of 2013. 

Previous #8: Moone Boy (Hulu)

#7: Welcome To Night Vale

Your thoughts keep returning to the dog park. Why are there no dogs at the dog park? You frown and concentrate on the unfolding conversation. A man sits across from you in a tan jacket. He is trying to sell you a fly. It darts around at the end of a string that that he has tied to his left forefinger. He folds his hands on his lap and smiles. The fly lands on his left lapel. His briefcase stands on the floor next to his chair. Sure, you might want a new fly, you think. You could keep it on a leash, sort of like a—

He opens his mouth again to speak, but the radio sputters and begins to broadcast static. It builds and builds. The man in the tan jacket closes his mouth. You watch his thin lips slide to shut over his yellow teeth as the noise grows to unbearable levels. Outside, the sky darkens. A green haze covers everything and there are thumps on your roof. For minutes, maybe even four or five minutes, you stare at the man across from you, the man whose face you’re sure you will forget, until the static subsides and the light outside returns and your feelings of absolute fealty and subservience go away.

As the man across from you opens his mouth again to speak, you check your watch. “Ah,” you say. “I’m afraid I have an obligation.”

The man in the tan jacket nods. He unties his finger and as he stands he picks up his briefcase. Tether dangling, the fly remains on his lapel. You go to shake the man’s hand and at a close distance you can hear his briefcase buzzing. You show him the door but prevent him from crossing the threshold until you’ve checked the sky. “Okay, go ahead,” you say. He leaves. By the time he steps off your stoop you have already forgotten his face.

You pause before going inside and glance up the street. Your thoughts return to the dog park. Why are there no dogs at the new dog park? It’s hard to stop thinking about, you think to yourself as a hooded figure hustles past on the sidewalk. Really hard.

You close the door, turn around, and return to your comfy chair. The radio begins again to hum with static. It builds. This time you hear delicate piano notes emerge over a thin drum track. You close your eyes. You relax. You hear a deep, sonorous voice. Your thoughts return to the dog park. You realize that it would be very interesting for you to grow tentacles.

Sitting in your comfy chair, you smile as you hear your trusted radio announcer say, “Welcome to Night Vale.”

Next #6: Twelve Years a Slave

About Martyn Jones

Martyn Jones is a Chicago-area writer with abiding interests in phenomenology, reformed theology, and contemporary fiction. Since graduating from Wheaton College in 2010, he has worked for Apple, written for Groupon, and received his M.A. in philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Marty writes sporadically for supercurriculum.blogspot.com, and you can follow him on Twitter: @martynwendell.


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