the short story project

Roy Spivey

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Roy Spivey by Miranda July

At first sight: a simple story written in brief sentences, what appears to be a chance, thrilling encounter with a celebrity, with the vague hope of something that might have evolved into an adventure, but abandoned in favor of a common middle-class life. And then, out of nowhere, the punch blown by the passing of time—that everything is fundamentally sick and sad. Love is not where it might have been; and where love is impossible, perhaps its illusion exists. But it is too late, everything is too late. Everything that seems clean and innocent is a heavy price that crystalizes into a sense of missed opportunity.

The sense of opportunity lost is the Gordian knot that life ties around those who try to avoid it, who attempt to live life with practical simplicity. Something like: your love does not exist, perhaps had never existed, and will certainly not exist again. July’s men and women find themselves in extreme situations, squirm into them and inside them, and as if comply with the fate that rises against them; the fragments of light penetrating the spaces of the occurrences create bloody burn stains, or turn into scars with an ugly presence. July makes her protagonists experiment with bizarre, even ludicrous sexual relations, bestows upon them moments of grace and terror, and still manages to make us feel that their movements in space is similar to ours, driven by longing for a connection, for understanding and intimacy, and there lies the magic of her writing.