(AKA: A short review of a short story)
What a woman.
When I first heard about Miranda July, my friend Amber Sabo was telling me that her favorite quote was, “Live the dream, Potato.”
The quote is from July’s book of stories, No one belongs here more than you. In the second story (Majesty) of the book , the main character witnesses a dog running away. She says, “But he looked joyful and I thought: Good for him. Live the dream, Potato.”
On the next page of the story, Potato has been hit by a car.
And, this isn’t even the focal point of the story. No. The piece is about a 46 year old woman who is obsessed with Prince William–she dreams that he nuzzles her butt with his face. She determines how to meet him. She works for an earth quake preparedness company. She has a showboating sister.
But, amidst all that ruckus, Potato stands out to me. And, when July ends the piece, she still leaves me thinking of the little care free dog.
“This pain, this dying, this is just normal. This is how life is. In fact, I realize there never was an earthquake. Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy to hope for something else.”
These words touched a nerve yesterday, sent me into tears, into frustration. They’re true and yet, they will never be. How can we go through life without hope?
We are all Potato. And maybe it’s ok to be running carelessly down the street into the hot breath of an engine, the rumbling throat of certain death. Maybe it’s ok because the last thing we want in life is a memory of pleasure: the wind in our hair, the hot pavement on our paws.
**Stay tuned next week for review of Sean Lovelace’s
“Fog Gorgeous Stag”