Note: Originally published in Portland Monthly.
When "Skidder & Draw" was first published, the only change the editors requested was to nudge the timeline over a couple months, from October into December (it's a detail I've since reversed). At the time, it seemed to me that this single edit is what made the story a piece of fiction. I mean, every action described is something that I personally experienced. That makes it non-fiction, right? Yet the more time passes, the less convinced I am that I am the story's narrator. As in, I don't talk like that. At all. I'm not sure I think those kinds of thoughts, either. All my sentences cartwheel and fall down. But the narrator fancies himself a poet. That guy is someone else. And I'm curious as to who he might be, this man who's lived my life, too.
Douglas W. Milliken is the author of four books, including the novel To Sleep as Animals and the pocket-sized collection Cream River. His stories have earned prizes from Glimmer Train, McSweeney's, and the Stoneslide Corrective, and have been published in Slice, the Collagist, and the Believer, among others. www.douglaswmilliken.com