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The Death of Stalin


Doris told us about five guys from Arizona who stormed across the country writing fake painkiller prescriptions, how they hustled different Walgreen stores in Seattle and Tacoma and Butte and Cheyenne, until they got caught in Denver because of expired tags on their stolen Chevy Nova, and how one guy cried to the police about his mother who was dying a terrible horrible death in Missouri and how he needed to get back to her pronto, while one of the other guys, who couldn't really communicate properly, told the police he was from the future and wasn't worried about any legal ramifications because he already knew the outcome, and the other three didn't even get to speak on their own behalf, partly because they were Mexican and partly because they were shy.


Like most of Doris's stories, we never heard the end because she got too twisted in the telling, not so much in the completing. Mid-story she'd start a new thread and never really connect anything. Like the idea of Mexicans would make her think of Diego Rivera, which would make her think of Trotsky, which would make her spin off on a story about these underground Russian anarchists in the fifties and how they attempted to assassinate Stalin with this diabolical plan to seduce him into a wild sex orgy where these three women undressed in his bedchamber and lured his knickers from his hips and ran their tongues all over his hairy body, and how one of the women sucked on his mustache to get him dizzy with sexual ecstasy so that in his euphoric state he wouldn't notice the woman at his midsection who bit off his cock while the other two women screamed to alert the men who were just outside the door, waiting to burst in and gag Stalin and tie him to his Imperial dresser, so he might die a miserable bloody death by loss of blood from his once large dictator penis.

And then Doris would laugh.

We never knew what to say, so we laughed, too. But historically, I'm not sure that event really happened, and if it did happen, I wonder how long Stalin lived without a penis before he actually died?

Christopher Higgs curates the website Bright Stupid Confetti, teaches at Ohio State & serves as associate prose editor of The Journal. His new work appears or is forthcoming in Swink, Pleiades, Salt Hill, and DIAGRAM.