Esquire Publishes Fiction by Handsome Actor James Franco

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mailer, Talese, Wolfe, Franco? Esquire yesterday added heartthrob James Franco to the list of authors published in its pages.

Franco’s short story, “Just Before the Black,” follows two friends on a car ride through the San Francisco Bay area. The pair waxes hypothetical on what they would do if they could travel back in time. The story also contains this sentence:

And before I even know it, or can enjoy the new look on Joe’s face, like a blubbery peekaboo face, so surprised, because I’m driving us right toward the vague beige shadow-filled wall, and I can only see and hear Joe for a second, a high-pitched thing that cracks for just a second, and for that second I’m with Joe’s voice on a plateau in the black of space, wherever it is that noise cracks like that and decibels live, and then it’s gone because there’s the metal sound so loud and it’s how I had always planned it to be, crunching, and a jerk and the front of my head is filled with the cold hollow sinus pain, the surprise punch in the nose that takes you back to childhood and there’s an immediate link to every other time you ever had your nose hit, by a ball, by a head, by your own knee, and after the surprise it doesn’t go away; but I’m still there and the tires behind me are screeching because my foot is still on the gas, and the car has gone a ways into the wall but it ain’t going any farther, and I look over at fat shit, and there is blood rolling out of a slice in his forehead, and some blood coming out of his mouth, and I think that it’s from the head gash until I see one of those teeth is now a black gap and he looks like a fat something-awful: hockey-player-pumpkin-cartoon-shithead, and he says,

“Why the fuck did you do that, Manuel?”

The Observer says Franco’s fiction collection, Palo Alto, should appear in October of this year. What our readers do with that information is entirely up to them.