Update

When I arrive at HR the following morning, Lenora shouts like she’s a PA announcer calling my name in the starting lineup. I smile, then walk over to her desk, and get right to business — “I need to update my W-4, and personal information.”

Lenora raises her eyebrows, then reaches for a folder in a vertical sorter on her desk. “Can I ask why?”

The moment has arrived, and I’m filled with a calm that pleases my soul. “I’m getting married.”

“Oh!” Lenora stops, her face filling with delight. “Linda, that’s great! Who’s the lucky guy?”

No more lying, no more hiding, no more worrying what the hell anybody thinks. “Her name is Darci. I’m a lesbian. Darci and I have been together five years, and we have an appointment at the county courthouse tomorrow to get our marriage license.”

To her credit, Lenora recovers immediately from her surprise; she doesn’t apologize for her assumption, but I decide not to make an issue of her reaction. As she hands me the forms I’ve required, I feel that same thrill of uncertainty I’d felt Saturday on entering Murph’s house, knowing I had crossed a line but not knowing what waited for me on the other side. And as I sit at a nearby desk and begin filling out the forms, I realize that Murph, somewhere in some distant office of that city to where he has moved, has probably filled out similar forms this week for the company where he now works. I wonder if he’s elected to withhold his personal information again, if he’s rebuilt the wall surrounding him. But then I shake my head, and tell myself not to care any longer. How Murph chooses to live his life is his own business; the life that Darci and I are fashioning together needs to be our sole concern.

[This is the end of the story I began back with The Smoking Insomniac on October 12. I still don’t have a title; since I plan on revising, I’ll wait for that effort before deciding on a name for this tale.]

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4 thoughts on “Update

  1. I wish the truth of Steph had been uncovered without this ‘lesbian’ spin to the tale. I saw intrigue unravelling. why oh why do so many writers want to have a twist at the end? I’m longing for someone with your potential and giftedness to resolve things without this politically correct spin. I enjoyed this story.

    • I value your insight, and understand your disappointment at the twist I inserted at the end. It was a gimmick, one that I don’t use very often mostly because it has been horribly overused by fiction writers; in tomorrow’s post, I’ll explain my decision to end the story as I did.

      But as for your suggestion that my decision to make the narrator a lesbian was motivated by political correctness — I wish you would give me more credit than that. As I’ll explain tomorrow (sorry for the repeated tease), I didn’t sit down at my computer one day and say, “Gonna write y’all a story about a gay woman;” the narrator’s sexuality came to me almost accidentally, an idea I stumbled upon long after I had started. But as soon as the idea came to me, I realized it would allow me to further develop themes I was exploring in the story. In other words, my decision was entirely an artistic choice, not one motivated by any political/cultural agenda. Which is how it should be — agenda, whether it be political correctness or some other smelly little orthodoxy (my favorite Orwell quote), nearly always leads to tortured fiction. And your statement that you enjoyed the story, despite the unsatisfactory ending, leads me to believe my artistic instincts were right.

      I really do appreciate your insight, as well as the opportunity to explain myself. And I also hope you continue to enjoy these odd ideas that somehow escape my mind and make their way onto this blog.

  2. Pingback: About that ending… | The Diligent Dilettante

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