They lived across from a run-down park on a street they jokingly called Park Place. They drove older cars, drove as little as possible for the sake of the environment. They had a cleaning service, so they wouldn’t fight over who had left what where. But they rarely fought, in part because Allan was easy-going, in part because Thea was happy. Her job required travel (what fun!) but not enough to upset the applecart of the family. She made it to basketball games (Nate), violin recitals (Nate), and soccer matches (Dylan). When she was gone, Allan, who taught two courses a semester at a Research I university, took care of the boys. Amiably. Lovingly.
My first thought was, This is almost an excerpt from a novel. But not quite: it does have a trajectory, though not the expected one, that clearly begins and ends within the pages, so maybe not. Then I read in the Contributor Note that it’s from an in-process “collection of interrelated stories, or maybe it’s a novel in stories” which explains why it is, yet is not, a story-unto-itself.
To further complicate matters, it’s the second Solwitz story I’ve read. Here’s what I said about the prior one:
This story is part of a collection, apparently not yet published, written by Solwitz to chronicle the death of her 13-year-old from cancer: “A collection that shrieks, as I did not, Weep, world”…. you don’t analyze someone’s sacrament.
I’ll leave it there, with my best wishes that she finds the peace she seeks through these stories.