‘Against Specificity,’ by Douglas Watson

I have never read a story quite like this. It begins like this:

The trouble: You want Thing A but you are stuck with Thing B.

The you the story posits, which is almost maybe the reader himself or herself, now must go to the Thing Exchange to try to barter for Thing A, which “shines like a gold tooth in the mouth of Jesus”.

We’re in the realm, of course, of a story about what happens when desire becomes acquisition, or when what is nearby isn’t valued quite like what might be nearby. The reader pretty quickly substitutes What for Who, and Acquisition for Relationship, although the story doesn’t require any such one-to-one correlation.

from The Era of Not Quite, BOA Editions, 2013. Available to read online here

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