Monday, September 01, 2014

Reader's Diary #1058- Laura Theis: I Dream of Sharks Again

It's taken me too long to decide on how I feel about Laura Theis's short story, "I Dream of Sharks Again." There's a sense of danger lurking, be it with a woman who has a recurring dream about sharks or her young niece that casually throws out the word paedophile. But the danger never really materializes. Literal sharks never appear and the niece has no idea what paedophile means. Instead we're left with a story involving unrequited love and insecurities.

The narrator winds up caring for another young woman who she finds puking and defecating herself in the street and who she recognizes as the girl who broke the heart of the guy that the narrator wants. The puking girl is now stripped of her power, is no longer threatening, and when the niece says, "You know, if the [shark] dream comes back tonight, just change into one of them. They can be your friends" it is apparent that the narrator is interpreting her own symbolism. Though I think it's interesting that she opts to turn into a shark rather than turn the sharks into humans.

post-it puke by ario_, on Flickr

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Barbara Bruederlin said...

It sounds like a rather confusing, if not unsettling, story.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: Unsettling, I'd say. (I've been going over it in my head today, really bothered by the niece's advice), but not that confusing on a surface level.