Somebody to Love
"Don't Mind if I Do," "Anyone Can See," and "Hard to Explain" are the last 3 stories in This Is True Love, and I wrote them specifically for the book. I read through all the stories I'd published and written in the 90s and the 00s, and I got inspired enough to come up with 3 new ones.
They all have my usual obsessions: desperate people working crap jobs falling in love both as a way to escape their lives and also to stay awake inside them. "Don't Mind If I Do" is one of the few I've written with a female POV, and it captures the sadness and the excitement of finally figuring out what your life is, where it's going, where it might end up. "Hard to Explain" grew out of this brick ranch-style house I'd pass by a lot, with a weedy long yard and a detached garage in back. "Anyone Can See" works magic out of sameness, and is kind of a reiteration of a story I wrote called "The Smallest People Alive," with a narrator who tries to piece together what love is by grasping at a straw of a man who on Halloween dresses up like Freddie Mercury at Live Aid 1985.
Throughout all of these new ones, as I wrote them, I kept remembering what it was like to write stories like "Mars" and "Lily of the Valley," that feeling of being lost in someone else's life, trying to find a narrative thread that will lead out and above, so you can see and feel the art they accidentally make just by being who they are.