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The Faint Glimmer  June 9, 2005

Miranda PJ — June 9 @ 8:22am

Following is a short story that I wrote that I’d like to share with the bloggernacle:

She wears a white dress trimmed with lace, and kicks her ball around
the field in circles. Soon, the dinner bell rings, and she runs toward
the large house with the open windows. Just outside the house, she is
stopped by a tall man whom she has never seen before. He is wearing
old overalls and a threadbare shirt. He has big hands with dark, dirty
fingernails. Looking down at her with his worn, knobby face, he
frowns. She freezes, and he picks her up.

He takes her inside the house and sets her down. He holds his hat in
his hand, and he is introduced as a relative that has come to visit.
Everyone sits down to eat. The food consists of green beans, corn, and
ham. It is a bright summer evening with a nice breeze, and the window
sheers blow and rustle in the wind.

Everyone talks and laughs at dinner, but the relative stays gloomy,
and occasionally scowls at the little girl. In spite of the good
spirits of her family, the girl secretly wishes that the man would go
away. She goes to bed, changes into her pajamas, and hides herself
beneath her covers. When she sleeps, he crowds her dreams with
nightmares that trouble her and leave her unrested.

In the morning, he is gone, but his image haunts her for the rest of
the summer. When she plays, she thinks that she sees his slouching
figure on the horizon in the corner of her eye. Walking the halls of
her house, she fears running into him around a corner. She lies awake
at night hiding from his imagined outline in the shadows of her room.

When she is older, she comes in for dinner holding her riding hat and
her crop. A letter is being read, and she learns that the man is dead.
He has mentioned her in his will, and she argues with herself about
whether to go. Dinner tonight is beef, potatoes, and peas. All that
she thinks about is the tall man with the knobby scowl and the dirty
fingernails.

She attends the reading of his will, and she learns that the man has
left her a small bracelet and a charm. They are both made of silver
and are tarnished. She finds them dirty and worn and cheap, but she
does not throw them away. She puts them in the bottom drawer of her
jewelry box.

There they lie, apart from everything else she owns, and she doesn’t
often think about them.

67 Comments

  1. Wow!!

    Steve Evans — June 9, 2005 @ 8:27am
  2. Women confuse me even more now. I don’t get this story at all, Miranda. I’m sorry if it’s because I’m a man or not Mormon, but the old dude seems like a molester. Big hands, dark, dirty nails. I had no idea why he kept staring at her, except maybe because he was (1) sick or (2) her biological father. Why write a story about such a creepy guy? Is there something I’m just not getting here?

    Greg Fox — June 9, 2005 @ 12:14pm
  3. My other theory about your story is that you’re just trying to one-up my one-act play. And back to writing about a creepy guy–is this family supposed to be Mormon? I thought Mormons were all about big happy families. That’s the way they always seem.

    Greg Fox — June 9, 2005 @ 12:38pm
  4. Greg. Its not just you, I don’t get it other.

    Miranda. What are we supposed to get out of this. What’s the lesson, the moral of the story.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 9, 2005 @ 12:49pm
  5. What is it with you guys? Do things always have to have some greater meaning? I’ll tell you more about it, but I’m interested in hearing you float some ideas first.

    Miranda PJ — June 9, 2005 @ 1:23pm
  6. It has some good imagery. It’s poignant, but fuzzy.

    I seriously thought she was going to be abducted at the end of the first paragraph. Which is disturbing, of course, but I think it gives you a sense of what the girl felt. The world can be confusing and strange to little kids.

    In the end, it seemed like it was about two people who could’ve had a connection (like uncle/neice or grandpa/granddaughter), but they didn’t because they only saw each other once and it scared the girl. He leaves an imprint on the girl, but it isn’t good and it isn’t clear.

    Yet, there was enough of a connection (maybe only because of the accident of birth) that he gave her a gift and she keeps it. It doesn’t mean much to her, but she does keep it.

    Nice.

    Laura — June 9, 2005 @ 3:33pm
  7. I was touched by the story. It reminded my that we often reject others for the wrong reasons and accept the good life we have, such as a memorable supper, a lovely home. Yet in rejecting others, who may frighten us because a person may not dress as we do, or look as clean as we want, or scowl, we end up judging that person and missing their soul. In the story this seems to have gone both ways. The man may have felt uncomfortable around the lovely home and pretty young girl, but he loved her in his way. The sad part was that, even though she felt something, a faint glimmer, this was not enough for her to want to know this man, who frightened her because he was “different”. And in the end, she did get the bracelet but there was no connection made in her heart, that this man had cared for her in his way.

    Jane Webb — June 9, 2005 @ 3:54pm
  8. I wonder what she would have recieved if she was nice and open to the guy. A million bucks? An large estate? or maybe just a worn, tarnished, silver bracelet that, as the man, was dirty on the outside, but intrinsicly valuable if washed and cleaned.

    N Miller — June 9, 2005 @ 5:02pm
  9. . I don’t get this story at all,

    I don’t either.

    Rich child, playing, meets poor relative, has no like for him. He leaves, she has trauma because she met a rough, poor, man.

    He dies, leaves her something, she is still rich, has no regard for what he gave her, ceases to think of him or value him at all.

    I don’t get the point, other than some people are like that.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — June 9, 2005 @ 5:20pm
  10. Miranda, this story makes me feel profoundly uncomfortable, but I’m not sure why. I hope it wasn’t autobiographical? It feels like a bad dream.

    Mari — June 9, 2005 @ 5:28pm
  11. I think the meaning is crystal clear…once you realize the old man represents patriarchy. We meet the young woman dressed in feminine attire in her dress “trimmed with lace,” but she’s kicking around a ball, a clear suggestion that she desires to assume more masculine gender roles.

    After the little girl freezes, stopped cold by the mere presence of the distant “relative” Patriarchy, he picks her up and it’s clear he is the worker/provider. He has all the signs of the hard worker, dirt under the fingernails, overalls, and “threadbare shirt.” He carries her to the epicenter of domesticity, the dinner table, and scowls at her disapprovingly. Everyone else is having a good time with the traditional roles, but not our little girl.

    Even when Patriarchy isn’t physically present he’s there as a shroud, as a spectre. Even when Patriarchy is dead–as it has become in modern American society today, the little girl still feels his influence, symbolized by yet another mundane traditional meal, “beef, potato, and peas.”

    In the end she gets her “tarnished” inheritance from Patriarchy, but having finally grown she relegates the worthless gifts to where they belong–the bottom drawer. Now an adult, mature, self-sufficient woman that owns her own things she rarely thinks of them. This is a story told through symbols of a young girl that grows into womanhood and out from under the negative influence of patriarchy.

    And that, my friends, is what it all means. Thank you very much. I’m here all week.

    SeptimusH — June 9, 2005 @ 5:48pm
  12. You are all amazing! I’m really enjoying reading your feedback. Reading the impact that the story has on others is very illuminating to me, and I’m quite flattered that you’d all take the time to read and comment on it.

    One difficult thing about the story is it’s lack of conflict and resolution. The story is not intended as a dream sequence, but the lack of any differentiation based on verb tense gives the story an eery feel (I think this is what Mari is getting at when she says that it feels like a bad dream), but the point of this is to subordinate the action to the imagery, thereby effacing the presence of a plot. The story is intended to have the feel of disembodied memories, and memories have no plot. And rest easy, Mari; this is not autobiographical.

    Feel free to discuss whatever you’d like, but I’d love to hear what you all have to say about these topics:

    The title is “A Faint Glimmer.” What is a glimmer (both literally and metaphorically)? Light is the kind of motif that always has multiple meanings and multiple layers of meanings. What are the different things in the story that qualify as “faint glimmers” and in what sense?

    Second, no other character besides the girl and the man are specifically mentioned in the story. Why are there only two characters?

    Third, the story relates two events. What is the relationship between them, and what role do they play in the life of the girl. What role should they play? Is this typical? What does this say about us or about human nature?

    Miranda PJ — June 9, 2005 @ 5:57pm
  13. I’m getting homework from a blog?

    foxforcefive — June 9, 2005 @ 6:12pm
  14. Yes, foxforcefive. But everyone that submits a response gets an A.

    Miranda PJ — June 9, 2005 @ 6:49pm
  15. Bravo Septimus!! Need we say more about this story?

    Is Miranda aware that you’ve got her all figured out?

    diet coke — June 9, 2005 @ 6:52pm
  16. Miranda likes to think she isn’t so transparent, dc. But shhhhhh…don’t let her hear us talking. Let’s humor her a while longer.

    SeptimusH — June 9, 2005 @ 7:06pm
  17. Yeah, the most important part of that story is her freezing at the sight of the guy, him picking her up. Scary. I didn’t like it.

    annegb — June 9, 2005 @ 7:31pm
  18. annegb, you’re being too hard on the man in the story. The girl does not recognize the man as a relative, and she judges him based almost entirely on class distinctions. Moreover, the relative came outside to greet her, so he had some vested interest in seeing her. Since he’s her relative, he may have seen and held her when she was only a toddler or an infant. From his point of view, picking her up may have seemed only natural.

    Miranda PJ — June 9, 2005 @ 7:51pm
  19. I think Septimus is on to something. But doesn’t quite take it far enough. The old man represents not just patriarchy but this girl’s perception of the great Patriarch, God the Father himself. An unfair perception of course.

    She is exposed to God in her childhood, taken to Church as a child as many are. But it was the severe God of so-called Christendom, she is frightened with talk of hell and fire and brimstone. So she is afraid of God, resents him. She percieves him as the one responsible for ending her fun, stopping play time when its time to eat. When she’s older she’s into worldly excitement. Represented by the horse riding and riding crop. Which represents the worldly libertine lifestyles. The notice of the man’s death represents her embrace of atheism when she must decide her adult lifestyle. The devil whispers in her ear God is dead, there is no God. And she believes it.

    The silver jewelry represents the gift of God to us all, the light of Christ. She receives it reluctantly. And allows it to be neglected and tarnished, her conscience is seared with a hot iron. She tries to ignore the light of Christ and hide it away. All that remains in her benited soul is a Faint Glimmer.

    Miranda. Where did you find this story, why did you choose to share it here. It’s not very uplifting if it reflects the spiritual state of the author. I fear for the author of this story. I have a hard time imagining you would identify with this author.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 9, 2005 @ 8:27pm
  20. I’m not necessarily judging the guy in the story, I’m having an emotional reaction to it. Based on previous experience.

    annegb — June 9, 2005 @ 9:28pm
  21. Aaron, I identify with the author because I’ve identified myself as the author. I wrote this, and I can tell you that you’re interpretation is as far off the mark as Septimus’s. You might as well say that the shabby old man represents original sin. He doesn’t. He’s just a shabby old man. It’s a short story, not an allegory.

    annegb, I didn’t mean to dredge up bad feelings with my story. I was just hoping to say something about human nature.

    Miranda PJ — June 9, 2005 @ 9:55pm
  22. The “glimmer” is that the girl could almost be a human, but then, as most glimmers, that impulse was only fleeting, and she tossed her humanity into the bottom drawer, rarely to be thought of again.

    john fowles — June 9, 2005 @ 10:52pm
  23. Septimus might have rendered his analysis with tongue in cheek, but I think it is a compelling explanation/reading–the best so far. Based on that, I would say that you need to offer more detail or counter-analysis based on your own intent as author is you want to credibly discredit Septimus’s reading.

    john fowles — June 9, 2005 @ 10:57pm
  24. Mr. Fowles, you’re very smart. Your insight of my insight is very incisive.

    SeptimusH — June 9, 2005 @ 11:51pm
  25. OK, everybody, here’s my explanation: I wrote the story to compare the girl’s reaction to the man’s appearance with her reaction to his act of kindness. Ideally, the act of kindness should outweigh her perception that he’s creepy (based mostly on class distinction, as I mentioned above). But his creepiness eclipses any possible redemption that can occur through ordinary kindness. I was trying to illustrate the superficial nature of human character judgment. And I’ve tried to play something of a Tolstoy-like trick, too, since I’ve related it from a point of view sympathetic to the girl’s superficial judgments. Again, this is a story, not an allegory.

    Miranda PJ — June 10, 2005 @ 7:22am
  26. By the way, john, you are right to judge the girl harshly for responding to the man’s appearance and not responding to the act of kindness. Jane Webb seems to have pretty much gotten the idea of the story.

    Miranda PJ — June 10, 2005 @ 7:24am
  27. Miranda, I gotta agree with John and Sep–while your own interpretation is supported by the text, Septimus’ definitely is, too. That’s the problem with stories–as soon as they’re out there, people can come to all sorts of conclusions…

    Justin H — June 10, 2005 @ 8:51am
  28. Miranda. I’m so sorry that slipped past me that you’re the author. A little trick I picked up from my father, in one ear and out other.

    Miranda. You may have an idea of what you think you meant in the story. But your explanation as given doesn’t hold water. You’re smart enough to know that child molesters give candy to lure in children. Does this “kindness” overcome the warning of spiritual danger so many here have expressed as creepiness. Of course not.

    No I fear there is more at work here you may not even realize. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. As in my interpretation look inside yourself and ask, do you feel resent by God’s commandments and your covenants. Do you feel they are holding you back.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 10, 2005 @ 8:54am
  29. Aaron—In the immortal words of Jon Stewart:

    Whaaaaaaa??

    Justin H — June 10, 2005 @ 9:00am
  30. Aaron, the man bequeaths the girl the jewelry in his will. What can he possibly gain in exchange for a posthumous gift? And now your starting to get pretty creepy yourself with this talk about how it relates to my covenants. Try this on for size: the story is just a mirror, so the freaky criminal that you see in the story is you, Aaron!

    Miranda PJ — June 10, 2005 @ 9:17am
  31. “looking down at her, he frowns. She freezes, and he picks her up.”

    Pretty creepy words, to me.

    annegb — June 10, 2005 @ 11:18am
  32. Miranda, here’s the problem. Let’s say you died yesterday, before writing your 7:22 a.m. comment today (can you all fix the comments so that they count past 9?). Now your writing falls into the hands of the typical lit crit academic of today, fully steeped in exclusively post-modern modalities of textual interpretation. They look at their students and say, much like Professor Jerold Frakes once told me, that it doesn’t matter one bit what the author “intended.” And your story is turned into propaganda for the latest social agenda, whether gay rights, radical feminism, anti-establishment, anti-religion, anti-just-war, anti-large-families, or whatever.

    Or you might be interpreted by a less exclusively post-modernist and be accorded the benefit of an examination of your other writing as a tool of interpreting what the meaning of this short story is. In this case, Septimus’s reading very accurately places your story into what appears to be the framework of your thinking, if it is accurately represented by your comment elsewhere that

    you cannot blame women for the sexualization of their bodies by men. Female sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the entire woman. Men are to be blamed for isolating portions of the female body from the whole. This type of isolation ends up robbing women of control of their own bodies. This is why I equate sexualization with the attempt to rob women of control over their own bodies. Attempts to sweep breast feeding from the public eye are just one manifestation of this.

    This whole talk about men–Patriarchy–robbing women of control over their own bodies and women taking that control back by breastfeeding in public (while at the same denying men the right to bare their penis in public or in SM, effectively robbing men control over their own bodies and artificially sexualizing one part of the male body in complete isolation to the rest of the body) very neatly conforms and substantiate Septimus’s reading. But, of course, this is just one small example taken from a larger universe of your comments and work that also, presumably, squarely support Septimus’s reading and render it authoritative based on your thought, should you not have been able to render your explanation above.

    In other words, what can you say that invalidates Septimus’s reading? In his reading, your story very nicely conveys your own anti-Patriarchy ideas. At the best, this is a case of an text-book application of Frakes’s statement that it doesn’t matter one bit what the author intended in a such a radical reader-response reading of a story. At the worst, Septimus has offered a more accurate interpretation of your story based on a broader evaluation of your thought than you yourself have offered.

    Maybe what is in order is a specific response to Septimus explaining not only that he is far off the mark, but why, given your views as expressed elsewhere and which squarely support his reading, his reading is off the mark. This would be more detailed than your paragraph explaining what you intended the story to mean. I hope you can see the source of this incredulity.

    john fowles — June 10, 2005 @ 12:43pm
  33. I would agree with Professor Frakes’ assessment that Miranda’s intent isn’t relevant. In spite of Miranda’s insistence that the man’s kindness should have redeemed his creepiness in the eyes of the little girl the text has the man frowning at her immediately and scowling at her through dinner. He is the source of the animosity here.

    The wonderful and horrible thing about writing is that in spite of a writer’s intentions the subconscious often bubbles forth and true even perhaps repressed feelings are often revealed.

    For example, the tall man can be seen as a symbolic groom. He finds the little girl in a white lace dress—a wedding gown. He sweeps her off her feet and carries “his bride” over the threshold to have a dinner with her family—a wedding feast, no doubt. It is here that the story reveals its dream-like roots in the subconscious and feelings that dare not be spoken. Her family is overjoyed at the occasion, but she “secretly wishes that the man would go away.”

    The pair don’t consummate their marriage in the traditional way. The tall man invades her subconscious rather than her body when she crawls into her bed on the wedding night. He “crowds her dreams with nightmares.”

    When she reaches adulthood the girl chooses to ride her husband and symbolically whip him into shape with her otherwise unexplainable “riding crop.” He is dead now as anything but a source of income, yet still he fails even at that, the first duty of a husband. The means he provides are “dirty and worn and cheap.”

    This is a tale of a failed or estranged marriage relationship revealed in psychological symbology. Look at that last line. It says it all. “There they lie, apart…” The subconscious mind would remove that comma, “There they lie apart,” a man and wife with a gulf between them in their marriage bed. The story ends with “she doesn’t often think of them,” and yes, that’s perhaps true, on a conscious level the storyteller doesn’t think about the marriage relationship much, but the subconscious and this text tell quite a different story.

    Yes, friends, I’m ashamed to admit it, but Septimus could have been an academic instead of the bum he is today.

    SeptimusH — June 10, 2005 @ 2:26pm
  34. The squishiness proposed by Professor Frakes and embraced by my brother John is exactly the reason why I left academia.

    Jordan — June 10, 2005 @ 3:15pm
  35. Well, actually, I don’t embrace it, not by a long shot. It really turns me off, actually. I was just trying to show how, according to the interpretive methods that presently dominate in academia, Septimus’s reading could actually be considered more authoritative than Miranda’s own explanation of her intent, absent her specific counter-analysis of why Septimus’s reading does not convey the meaning of the story better than her own intended meaning. That is, Septimus’s reading rests on an implicit deconstruction of her story in which he realigns any meaning it could conceivably have away from her actual intent and into line with a communal understanding of meaning, informed perhaps tangentially by the broader universe of her thought as expressed elsewhere in other writings, but certainly not by her specific and expressed intent, where that intent is out of line with what Septimus can show is a more coherent alternative based on the content of the story.

    john fowles — June 10, 2005 @ 4:16pm
  36. Oops. I should have said “apparently embraced by my brother…”

    Jordan — June 10, 2005 @ 4:17pm
  37. Oops, that is “into line with a communal understanding of the meaning of the themes, symbols, and content of the story.

    john fowles — June 10, 2005 @ 4:17pm
  38. Jordan, weren’t you there when Frakes looked right at me after some argument I made and, with a straight face, unabashedly brushed it aside with the simple and cynical statement of “I don’t give a damn what the author actually intended” in a discussion of some short story of Sholem Aleichem?

    john fowles — June 10, 2005 @ 4:21pm
  39. Is John short for Jonathan? ‘Cause then prople would confuse you all the time with the famous director of ST:First Contact.

    Steve Evans — June 10, 2005 @ 4:22pm
  40. Are you asking whether Jerold Frakes is the same person as Jonathan Frakes? As for me, I’m just regular old john fowles.

    john fowles — June 10, 2005 @ 4:24pm
  41. oh, my mistake — I thought the Professor Frakes was our own JF — alas, the professorship still eludes him.

    Steve Evans — June 10, 2005 @ 4:24pm
  42. But I still think that I will refer to you henceforth as Prof. Frakes, the eminent director. For some reason, it fits.

    Steve Evans — June 10, 2005 @ 4:27pm
  43. How about “looking down at her, he frowns. She looks up, freezes, then relaxes as his face breaks into a kind smile. “Hello, little one,” and he reaches down and picks her up.”

    annegb — June 10, 2005 @ 6:00pm
  44. Nice try, John. Rather than dwell on the implications of Jonathan Frakes’ literary theory on estate law, I’ll do a little Frakian interpretation on your post. How’s this:

    You deeply fear being ineffectual both at home and at work, so you’ve become paranoid that everyone is out to get you because you harbor such pro-establishment, pro-just-war, pro-large-families sympathies. This leads you to read some deeper meaning into everybody else’s statements so that you can exaggerate their animosity toward your sympathies and posit their hypothetical death in order to explain it.

    And Semptimus, if you keep talking that way I’m going to take this whole entire post down. Regardless of what perverse fantasies you’ve developed from being alone too long, my story is not about the tarnish on my husband’s family jewels.

    Miranda PJ — June 10, 2005 @ 6:19pm
  45. Geez, Miranda. I never said the story was about your husband or your marriage, but it looks lke I hit some sort of nerve. I will now shut up and crawl back in my shell.

    SeptimusH — June 10, 2005 @ 6:29pm
  46. Don’t pout, Septimus. It’s just that in light of your earlier comments, I naturally took you to be implying something about my marriage. I still kind of think you were, even if I have to use John Fowles’ literary methods to sustain that opinion.

    Miranda PJ — June 10, 2005 @ 6:32pm
  47. Don’t look now, but I think the Bloggernacle just jumped the shark.

    foxforcefive — June 10, 2005 @ 7:09pm
  48. John (and Jordan), I’m wondering in what your antipathy toward giving the reader some say in the interpretation of a text lies? Please don’t condemn a practice (that does not, by the way, originate with pomo lit crit) that has legitimate uses.

    And could you both lay off people who choose to study literature? I’m sorry that you both apparently had bad experiences in the academy, but the constant disparagement of my profession isn’t helpful to anyone. You guys sometimes come across the same way embittered anti-Mormons do: you’ve left but you can’t leave well enough alone.

    When one of us specifically offends you, let us know. But please, give the rest of us the benefit of the doubt. I assure you that the intentions of the majority of us are the same as yours: the improvement of the world through something we have an affinity for.

    Justin H — June 10, 2005 @ 8:13pm
  49. Okay, okay, I’ve calmed down and as I look back on this thread, at least, John and Jordan are fair. I’m just remembering other of their comments of on other blogs, and chose this thread to vent. My apologies, sirs.

    Please excuse the threadjack, Miranda.

    Justin H — June 10, 2005 @ 9:01pm
  50. #

    The “glimmer” is that the girl could almost be a human, but then, as most glimmers, that impulse was only fleeting, and she tossed her humanity into the bottom drawer, rarely to be thought of again.

    john fowles — June 9, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    I can go with that, otherwise, I’m not generally blogging in order to reconstruct homework assignments ;)

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — June 10, 2005 @ 9:50pm
  51. This thread was really fun to read. You guys are cracking me up.

    The dirty old man creeped me out, too, Annegb. But I knew right away it was because he reminded me of my creepy child-molester uncle.

    And Steve, I prefer to think of Jonathan Frakes as Captain Picard’s handsome and charming Number 1, not some fancy smancy movie director.

    Susan M — June 10, 2005 @ 10:34pm
  52. Steve Evans, you’re absolutely the funniest man in the bloggernacle. I can’t keep all of the Frakes straight. I’m glad that you and Jordan can.

    Septimus, I suppose this means that we’re getting along again.

    foxforcefive, I love how you post on Mormon blogs using a name that comes from a rated R movie. But a shark? I’m sure that I have no idea what you mean.

    Justin H, I don’t believe in thread-jacking. Threads go where they go. And thanks for stepping up to the plate.

    Stephen M, I’m glad you’ve seen fit to hand in an assignment. Agreeing with John Fowles’ rather astute observation is a great place to start. You seem like a great student.

    And John, I can’t really refute any given interpretation. But I sure enjoyed reading yours. I hope you had as much fun with my tongue in cheek take on your interpretation.

    annegb, I can see why you want to tone it down. My feelings are that toning it down like that make the girl’s obsessiveness about the man over the summer seem playful. Just keep in mind that the story is telling everything from the little girl’s point of view. But I’m flattered by your strong reaction. Does this mean that the story has connected in some sense?

    Susan M, I apologize. I don’t mean to dredge up images like that. Perhaps I’ve just lead too sheltered of a life to find such images terribly frightening.

    Miranda PJ — June 10, 2005 @ 11:22pm
  53. I knew right away why I thought this guy was creepy, too, yeah, old memories.

    Sometimes I make up other endings that are not so, uh, disturbing to me, in movies or things I read.

    Many short stories bother me for this very reason, there is too much ambiguity and hints of menace. Why, you literary geniuses, are short stories often so depressing in tone?

    annegb — June 10, 2005 @ 11:24pm
  54. I’ve got to weigh in here. First of all, the story focusses on far too many very mundane things like foodstuffs and breezes and clothing. It’s the kind of story written by bored women. Second of all, I don’t see how this is different from any other “girl meets boy, boy freaks out girl, boy leaves girl something in his will” story that I’ve ever read.

    DKL — June 11, 2005 @ 12:24am
  55. Justin H. Email me if you want. john dot fowles at gmx dot net.

    john fowles — June 11, 2005 @ 3:39pm
  56. You shouldn’t think that I’m “anti-academy” in the sense of a business-man grandfather who looks at you cross-eyed if he thinks you’re interested in “teaching” rather than business. Actually, I’m not anti-academy. I love(d) it.

    john fowles — June 11, 2005 @ 4:03pm
  57. my brain is hurting, yo. Sep, you shouldn’t have dropped out of your Ph.D. program. Oh wait, you still say you’re ABD right? Not too late to drop folklore and go into English. I’m glad I’m a lowly webmaster and not expected to have opinions about things like this. Hey, I’m going to church for the first time tomorrow–thought you might want to know. Abe told me I couldn’t go last week because it was a weird Sunday with everyone saying whatever they felt like. Kind of like reading all y’all’s interpretations of M-dawg’s story.

    Greg Fox — June 11, 2005 @ 5:01pm
  58. Good for you, Greg. Don’t eat the bread.

    SeptimusH — June 11, 2005 @ 7:21pm
  59. M-dawg? You’ve been spending too much time talking to Thomas, Greg. Have a great time at church.

    Miranda PJ — June 11, 2005 @ 7:53pm
  60. But, Miranda, give, who was the guy? I assume this story was biographical.

    annegb — June 12, 2005 @ 7:12pm
  61. Oh, heavens no, annegb. Nothing autobiographical at all. I grew up in a house and I’m sure my family owned balls that were good for kicking, but there aren’t very many more common elements than that.

    Miranda PJ — June 12, 2005 @ 8:35pm
  62. Justin H.

    Please don’t attribute my cynical remarks about academia to John. Those are views John and I do not have in common.

    And I am not as bitter as I have sounded elsewhere, so no worries. A little drama for the blog’s sake is always overblown.

    Jordan — June 13, 2005 @ 12:23pm
  63. T-diddy didn’t teach me how to say these things, M-lo. This is a natural reaction I have when people around me start saying things I don’t understand. Thanks for the heads up on the bread, Sep. Nephi also told me before we went in, so I didn’t do anything wrong, as far as I could tell. Lots of hot Mormon girls, though.

    Greg Fox — June 13, 2005 @ 3:36pm
  64. Here’s a great tip on how to have fun with Mormon girls in a singles ward, Greg. Find a hot one nearby and pass her a note that says, “I’m good looking, aren’t I?” And if you really want a good laugh, then when she looks up at you like she thinks you’re a complete idiot, give her a wink.

    DKL — June 13, 2005 @ 3:40pm
  65. HAH! You got me in stitches hear DKL!

    Geoff J — June 19, 2005 @ 12:42am
  66. Thanks, Geoff. I always like to hear that I’m funny

    DKL — June 20, 2005 @ 9:55pm
  67. […] For those of you who liked my first short story, but didn’t like my second short story, I’m hoping you’ll give me one more chance. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about his one: […]

    Pingback by Banner of Heaven » A Drop in the Bucket — October 20, 2005 @ 5:53pm

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