Only God Forgives

Compendium Monday #4

Ok, so maybe I should rename this 'Compendium Tuesday.' I'm afraid, if I do that, that in no time at all I'd be apologizing for waiting until Wednesday. I spent so much time writing and researching this weekend, that time just slipped away from me. Also, some special order yarn came in at my favorite knitting shop, Bella Filati, so I had to drive over to Southern Pines to pick it up yesterday morning. Knitting calls.

So here's some of what I got into last week:


Imogene's Prayer, by Sybil Smith.

I picked up a copy of February Sun Magazine last week and read it almost cover to cover. I thought this particular story was going to be one of those typical self-harm addiction stories, but I found myself unable to put it down. I caught myself thinking, "That could be me; that could have been me." The protagonist enjoys riding bikes, grows her own vegetables, and writes.

And sometimes she shoots up.

The narrator says of her occasional stints at writing that, "She has not tried to write for a long time--months, it seems. As the human rase has grown more distasteful to her, so has the effort of saying something meaningful about a culture infected with decadence and despair, cracking under the weight of useless wars, its people grasping at dreams that are increasingly out of reach, kept acquiescent by television and scratch-off tickets, hoodwinked by unscrupulous politicians and tycoons...Imogene does not want to write unless she has something new to say."

The end of this story was a tad too tidy for me; I like an ending that is so open-ended that it hurts. I don't like a spelled out moral or message. I like a short story that begs the reader to continue thinking about the piece. I want to be kept up at night. When it's too tidy, too wrapped up, it's easy to put down and put away and never really think about again. In this case, I'll certainly think about Imogene again, and maybe this is the type of ending most people want, but either way, it's a worthwhile read. 


Moving On From Make Believe by Joy Bullen.

This appeared as part of the New York Time's collection of "Modern Love" columns. 

Proof that sometimes growing apart isn't the end, and that there's still room to grow toward each other again. I wonder how often one person in a relationship drifts away and then later regrets it, and actually has the guts to show back up, totally humbled, and ask for another chance. I wonder how many people miss out on a connection like this because they're not able to do that.


What are you reading?