Monday, January 13, 2020

Reader's Diary #2125- Jerome Stern: Morning News

There's a line, a word really, in the first paragraph of Jerome Stern's flash fiction "Morning News" that I cannot shake for how much I like it. The narrator has just gotten bad news, clearly has a very short time to live. Then: "The doctor, embarrassed, picks me up off the floor and I stagger to my car."

What business does the doctor have being embarrassed? Like there's something unreasonable about this guy's reaction. Is the narrator projecting? Does the doctor deliver so much bad news that this particular reaction is the most undignified he's ever seen? How much do I love embarrassed here?

The story overall is wonderful. It should be bleak but I found it darkly hilarious. Like there even is a proper way to deal with death? Or with life either for that matter.

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