Sunday, September 2, 2012

On "Phantom Limbs" by D.J. Thielke (2486 words) ***

Thielke's story grabbed me from the first line. The story--and you learn this in the first line--is about an armless boy. Like the story's main character, Cindy, I found myself wondering various things as well, even though in high school I knew a one-armed boy. He always struck me as incredibly agile given the disadvantage he had. Things I remember about him: He was an incredible artist. He carried his books in that one arm. The arm was large. He was in my typing class--and not as fast as the rest of us (I have no idea how the teacher graded him). (There is also an armless man here where I live who does artwork downtown--a very good drawer, though I wonder how he manages not to go cross-eyed, since he uses his mouth to hold the ink pen.)

Cindy too watches in fascination as the boy does things we consider normal. For him, it is just life--he's been that way since birth. He manages.

But that's where this story takes a different turn, for because Cindy's roommate is dating this person, she is drawn into questioning what makes some faulty people lovable and other whole people, like her good-looking self, not. What indeed? Read the story here at the New Delta Review.

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