Thursday, June 9, 2016

On "Growing Pains" by Alexai-Budziszewski (4954 words) ***

"Growing Pains" is one of the more complete stories from Galavis-Budziszewski's Painted Cities collection, and as such, it's also one of the stories that resonates more fully. It's about a kid whose grandmother comes to visit his mother and him. The mother fled the grandmother a decade earlier, and the fact that they can't get along is evident on this visit. But so too are the mother's griefs at chances blown. Her friend Birdy comes back for a visit a couple of years earlier, and the mother becomes irate over Birdy's constant teasing about the mother not moving to California when she had the chance (there was a man involved, the narrator's father). The narrator suffers from arthritis--growing pains--though just a kid; it's as if aging happens much more quickly here in the hood, for as we learn, the mother was once part of a street gang that, even though only a decade has passed, is now defunct. Read the story here at CrossConnect.

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