120 Seconds With…David Comfort

David is the author of "The Kiss".

  • Day Job: Writer, painter, sculptor, furniture maker
  • 3 favorite authors: Chekhov, Kafka, Jean Genet. Runners up: Dostoyevsky, Rimbaud, Henry Miller, Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Donald Barthelme, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Denis Johnson, Thom Jones, Peter Handke, Roberto Bolano
  • 3 artists you most admire:De Kooning, Rothko, Paul Klee. Runners-up: Bosch, Breugel, Vermeer, El Greco, Grunewald, Van Gogh, Corinth, Rouault, Modigliani, Munch, Nolde, Kokoschka, Dubbufet, Sautine, Gorky, Kline, Basquiat
  • How have you changed as an artist since you began creating/writing?Less optimistic about getting into Gagosian, or winning the Nobel.
  • Describe your dream studio/workspace.2,000 sq. ft +, cathedral ceilings, skylights, overlooking Banff/Lake Louise.
  • Where do you feel the most “at home”? At home, alone. Or in dreams.
  • Something you never leave the house without: Anti-depressants.
  • How do you unwind and get in the mood to create/write?Unwind: Meditation and/or controlled substance abuse. Or watching Colbert, Maher, or “Breaking Bad”. Mood to Create/Write: Burn effigy of Hemingway, Bret Easton Ellis, or Julian Schnabel (among others). Reread: Ward Six, Notes from the Underground, or “Cathedral.” Relisten: Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” (slight return)
  • Tell us about a favorite holiday/wintertime tradition.Burning my Simon & Schuster holiday sell-out title, Just Say Noel, on the yule log.
  • Name the last song that got stuck in your head.Beethoven’s Ninth. Muskrat Love.

Vol. 12 HOME: David Comfort - “The Kiss”

"This is a story about an elderly widow who loses her home during a home invasion, but gains something far greater."—David

She was taped to her high-backed chair at the dining room table. There, in front of the bay window, beside her husband’s military portrait over the mantelpiece. Scattered on the floor was the Sunday newspaper she had just walked up the lane. Lying next to the paper was her cane and her Audubon calendar. She put everything on her calendar. The little white boxes were filled with her meticulous print. She included the weather, when her boys drove home, when she visited the cemetery. 

She was beginning to lose sensation of her right hand now. They had wrapped the tape tighter on this. It had been the first one. She didn’t recall them taping it. When she had opened the back door, carrying the paper, they had been behind it, waiting. Then she heard the explosion. Later, she had opened her eyes, as if from sleep, to the sound of panting behind her.

Now, the tall one was already upstairs, in her bedroom. She could hear the sound of telephones being torn from the walls and smashed. Of lamps falling to the floor. Of her dresser drawers being thrown open. The other one, the shorter one, was standing beside her. He wore a stocking over his face, with three holes. He had kind, gentle eyes.

When his partner disappeared upstairs with the gun, he put his hand lightly on her shoulder. He wore thin white rubber gloves. The medical kind.

"You believe in Jesus?" he said. "You believe he is the Savior?"

She tried to look around again. Behind, her Labrador retriever was lying on the kitchen floor eyes open, legs quivering, blood pouring from his mouth.

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