Fixer Eraser #2
Zine, Jonas, PO Box 633, Chicago, IL 60690, USA, email@example.com, 24pgs, $3 USD
Chicago zinester Jonas compiles a tender collection of what he calls “odds and ends and things” in the second issue of Fixer Eraser. It consists of six short stories or story-like narratives, each with their own unique pull. The text is typed on white cut-and-paste blocks, sparsely populating all-black backgrounds for a high-contrast trip through its 24 pages.
Jonas’s characters, like everyone I know, all fall somewhere on the continuum of sadness. In the most severe case, the “Depressive Phase, Comedic Gold” shows a poor soul doing a 9-5 office shift losing all touch with reality as internal monologues brush against the depression he can’t express to his co-workers. He hopes his goofy jokes will disarm them as he is frozen from doing any work.
In my favourite story, “Salut,” the narrator, a writer, shares drinks with Uncle Havel, who dispenses wise and difficult advice. Havel (who I hear in my head as having the voice of Pavel Chekov from the original Star Trek) breaks down the difference between fame, greatness and genius — and how creative people of the narrator’s generation confuse these things. In “And so, what do you do?” a narrator wrestles with whether or not to involve themselves in a friend’s abusive relationship and ponders the difference between words and action in such interventions.
Jonas’s characters are deep feelers, sensitive, gruelingly working toward a more refined self-awareness. Their insights vary from the profound to the self-deluding. World-weary, but still with some hope that something beautiful is around the corner, these are stories worth appreciation.