20080321

It's Apparently Endless

by Simon A. Smith

When I called my mom to tell her that I had been fired from my job, her response was to read me a story from a book she'd fallen in love with. The one she picked was a testimonial about a former prostitute who had changed her life through positive thinking. It was not a short story but she read the whole thing, and when she had finished and the prostitute had made her transformation from a street walker to a wedding planner, she told me that that was what I needed to do now, "think only good thoughts and imagine yourself succeeding in a business that better suits your spiritual self." I couldn't see any harm in being optimistic so over the next week, every time I sent out a resume, I pictured myself as a veterinarian, all dressed up in blue scrubs with a stethoscope around my neck, bandaging a fragile cat's paw, which had always been my dream job. On the eighth day, I take a walk through Oz Park and on the way out I find a wounded bird on the ground with bloody feathers but still breathing. And as I bend down to examine the heartbeat, I wonder if this is it, if this is what she (or they or it) would count as a triumph.

6S

Simon A. Smith lives and writes in Chicago. He is the Editor of the literary magazine Bruiser Review. His fiction has appeared in Storyglossia, Look-Look Magazine, The Columbia Chronicle, Dogzplot, The Banana King and others. He is currently working on a novel titled "Escape From Dreamland" that will hopefully be finished by the end of 2008. (If you're a publisher or an agent, send him an email!)

13 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

But did it live, and did ge/she get the dream job?

Good 6. I wish my mum was like that.

reynolds said...

OUTSTANDING work.

Meghan said...

I really love this one. Love the idea and the writing. Thanks Simon!

margery said...

I liked this a lot. Lots of interesting details and a real arc.

Marie Mosley said...

This is flawless.

DOGZPLOT: an erratic literary montage said...

another great flash - very nice!

Demon Hamster said...

Excellent piece, the mention of the prostitute at the beginning and the "not short" story sets the tone perfectly.

Joe said...

A well-written and evocative piece all the way through. Excellent, Simon. How strange, the random word verification to leave the comment came up as "jobvet".

jobvet said...

I'm crazy like that.

Anonymous said...

Nice.

Anonymous said...

a strong narrative voice that, maybe because of the brevity and intensity of statement, leans toward a lyrical voice. I enjoyed reading this little story.

--Marcus

Aly said...

Great story... so much said in so few sentences. Kudos!

PS: I wanted to be a vet, too.

Nathan Baker said...

Also birds are delicious, so it's a win/win.