Born and raised in South Africa, K.P. Taylor came to the US at 29 to work at an amusement park for the summer and never left. His work has appeared in Hobart, Gargoyle, Ginosko, The Blue Nib, Running Wild Anthology of Stories, and others.
The Red Hats
I see them at the post office purchasing books of forever stamps, at the grocery store restocking their supplies of Dulcolax and Goetze’s Caramel Creams. A fellowship of brittle-boned and time-winnowed men whose calcified craniums yield singular red blossoms.
Once, their displays of political fervor were confined to yard signs that sprung up like daisies every quadrennium. Now their proclivities cling like dander. Their gauche red hats loom like coiled vipers, hissing and spitting an all-caps directive.
The faces of these acolytes are hard and lined as knuckles. By forty you have earned your face, and by eighty you have accrued interest. The frown has become a furrowed brow, the scowl a sagging jowl. The clear sky of eye has clouded as life’s long road has narrowed. Those who once boomed now only crack.
But the red hat is a magical thing; it straightens the hunched back, stills the tremor-stricken hands, and raises the drooping head. More than this, it promises a return. A chance to undo past mistakes, to find the lost thread and trace it to the place where virtue unraveled, to reclaim the greatness that was taken.
But life is not a rotary telephone that needs to circle back to move forward. And what essential truth would we learn if we could return to the golden days of youth? Only that greatness cannot be stolen, but it can be lost.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7
32 pages, published 1/15/2022
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80 pages, published 10/15/2020