Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On "Dish at Java Juice: A Ten Act Story" by Sweetman (2052 words) ***

When I was around twenty, taking the train across the United States, stopping off in stations along the way, I would sit myself down by the payphones and listen and take notes. I only got to hear half of the conversation, but that half sometimes was an intriguing window into someone else's life. Even now, sometimes, sitting in a restaurant, it can be fun to overhear a conversation. (Or sometimes, it can be annoying.) Perhaps, this is why I prefer to avoid conversation about personal things in public places, as if people I don't know would care.

"Dish at Java Juice" reads like a collection of ten such overheard conversations. In this case, though, they build on one another, so that we get a feel for these characters and people. (For me, the overhearing I'll do is only among strangers--the idea that a story might reside in the things I don't know, the things not placed in the conversation; I don't really want to know about people I know unless they tell me, so I'd be less inclined to listen to a series of conversations like this, knowledge becoming too thick, imagination less so.) But the story stays intriguing nonetheless. Read it here at This.

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