Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On "And It Can Never Be Too Dark or Too Bright" by Leesa Cross-Smith (1900 words) ****

Years ago, in conversation with a woman who is perhaps the closest I've ever managed to get to having a girlfriend, she asked me if it was possible to be in love with two people at once. I said I thought so, though I didn't really know from experience. What, after all, is love--or "in love"? For her, though, I could see that she was wrestling with the issue, for she "loved" two men, and I was one of them. In the end, we remained "just friends," but in the end the other guy didn't get her either.

Leesa Cross-Smith's story mines similar territory. It's a meditation on dating two men at once, on trying to sort out which is the right one--or more precisely, it's about knowing who the right one is but not being able to commit to him, because that other offers something the right one can't, because the right one isn't who you feel you deserve, because they're both in love with you, and you're in love with both.

In the midst of this, Cross-Smith does some cool stuff with geography. The places her narrator's lovers are from become their namesake. This is a means of distancing the narrator from them, of allowing her to continue see both. It's also of interest that both are from a similar region of the country--so there's sameness in the two--but from different bordering states--so there's difference. And significantly, it is in travel that the narrator finally is able to make a decision. Read the story here at Storychord.


Leesa Cross-Smith said...

Hey there! This is Leesa Cross-Smith and I found this today. Lemme tell you that you srsly made my night. I ALWAYS GET SO NERVOUS WHEN I COME ACROSS THESE B/C I NEVER KNOW WHAT PPL ARE GONNA SAY ABT MY STORIES. It is still and forever always such a delight and joy to find that anyone wants to read any more than two sentences I string together. This review is just so kind and I wanted to thank you and tell you so. Thank you, thank you (so much.) :)

Short Story Reader said...

Glad I was able to make your night, and glad I had an opportunity to read the story and get something from it. Best wishes on your future writing. Hopefully, people will one day want to pay you to read your stuff rather than you feeling like you'd have to pay them--maybe even some of the readers here or at Storychord.