This collection of eleven short stories explores the constant struggle between our expectations for our own lives and our responsibilities to others, as well as the unexpected instances of suffering that have irrevocable effects on our worldviews. Set in several distinct locations in contemporary America, and including romantic, familial, and professional relationships pushed to the breaking point, these stories follow grieving parents, drained partnerships, desperate children, and siblings that seem trapped in cycles set in their youths. While the characters vary, there are consistencies in themes that connect these stories. In the title story, a young woman struggles with the fact that her responsibility to her family is choking her. In “Bridges,” a couple’s unspoken discomfort grows too loud to ignore. “Pixelated People” involves two brothers who cannot stop circling each other for weaknesses, even after they are fully grown. Finally, in “This Time Will Be Different,” a college student is unsure if the advice she gives her best friend is of any merit, or is indicative of her own issues.
Table of Contents
Critical Introduction -- You’ll Always Be My Boy -- Pixelated People -- Bridges -- Forced Perspective -- Vanity Office -- Metal That Moves in Wind -- Feature Presentation -- Costume Design -- Recessive Genes -- Laughing on Purpose -- This Time Will Be Different