Monday, October 12, 2020

Reader's Diary #2140 - Peter Orner: My Dead

It took a few reads for me to appreciate Peter Orner's "My Dead" but it's flash so rereading wasn't a big deal.

I think my initial reading was challenging because I was trying to ascribe a supernatural explanation for the ending. It's called "My Dead" and deals with a séance, so it's not an unreasonable assumption. Was it a trick ending? Was Beth really dead this whole time? Was the narrator forced to live a Groundhog's Day sort of existence with her ghost? 

The funny thing I eventually made this work in my head but still felt I had to force it and faulted the story. Then when I reread it a couple of times, I realized I didn't need to go beyond the literal. The story could simply be a story about regret. 

Now however I have two interpretations in my head (a la the two endings of Life of Pi) and I like the story even more because of it.

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