Sunday, May 10, 2009

On "For Those about to Rock, We Salute You" by Sacha A. Howells (3850 words) ****

At the tail end of my previous job, when all of us working for the company were being laid off due to a merger, all of us having to reapply for our jobs in this new company, in new places, where we would have to move if we wanted to stay employed, the assistant to the managing editor applied for and got quite a few possible positions. Her cubicle was right outside my office, so I got to know what was going on in her life quite well. Her husband had told her he was willing to move. But when those positions were hers, suddenly his tune changed. He was a member of a rock band. It was going to be something, he was sure. He couldn't just leave. They were newlyweds--I got to see all the angst and trouble such new couples often have played out in front of me.

The narrator of this story isn't unlike that husband, isn't--I dare say--unlike so many of us, ever hopeful, ever dreamy. What I like about this piece is the desperation. It's a desperation that comes out in the anxiousness around this main character. It's a party that has ended, a youth that is going down. But our main character refuses to acknowledge it. He's going to be something. He's going to be something. Is it pitiful? Is it heroic? Most likely we'd think of him as the former, were we to meet him in real life, but in other ways there is a certain heroicism to him as well--or perhaps childishness. Is a dream given up part of becoming an adult or a lack of perseverance. No matter, one thing this character definitely is is funny. Read the story here at Menda City Revew.

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