Living Among Strangers
Author: Richard Schmitt
Rated M for mind melding, thought-provoking segments of humanity
We held hands and sucked air gingerly, together, trying not to huff and puff, taking tiny breaths so as not to use up our quota.
A collection for short stories of lives that don’t typically earn a second glance or blink or thought. Filled with thought and curiosity and subtle ambiguity of life and the ordinary. A walk among the metaphorical tulips.
A gift from a professor of mine that’s been an inspiration of mine as well as encourager to keep on keeping on with my writing and desire to be my own voice, this book surprised me. It wasn’t because it was filled with shock and awe or some major plot that had me clinging to every page. In fact, this is a book that slowed me way down. I actually nearly forgot what it feels like to slow down that much. A truly nice feeling to have with a book on the rare occasion and this was certainly one of those.
Each story was pleasant and thought-provoking. Granted, some more than others. Each one was a small, but interestingly meaningful moment in the lives of people we wouldn’t give much thought to. These moments were casual and yet, not. There was meaning and question amid minor humor of the everyday, always changing waves of life.
My particular favorites:
Motion Sickness (Not gonna lie, the epitaph of Edgar Allen Poe seriously piqued my brain on this one.)
Until the Morning Comes
This one of those ones where I say it’s one you need over want. A smirk giver and, at times, an eye-opener. Meaningful with the spatter of entertaining lines blended with the life lesson ones. A keeper for sure.
“Faith is the thing. She believes well-made plans yield predictable and satisfactory results. I figure her inner ear is like a crystal ball; she sees a future that can’t be altered because, well, it’s the future. It exists as fact in spite of conflicting facts like roads no taken, decisions second guessed, options passed, minds changed.” (p. 117, Motion Sickness)
“People say it can never be like the old days. “We’re never going to feel like we did twenty years ago,” the doctor says. Is that a professional opinion? I ask him. Or are you feeling nostalgic?” (p. 138, Internal Injuries)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Days Like This by Kim Richey
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!