OK not really, just the last post here. For now. I’ll keep this page around for a while but all operations are moving to:
Thank you for reading this stuff and I hope you will keep on reading at the new site.
While you are here I’ll throw up a quick short story analysis.
“Kansas” by Steven Dobyns tells the tale of a boy hitchhiking to Lawrence Kansas during a summer break from college. The boy is picked up by a farmer who announces that he is on his way to kill his wife and her lover. There is a pistol in the front seat of the truck next to the farmer. The boy arrives safely in Lawrence without incident but he is left unsure of what ultimately happened to the farmer and if he did indeed carry out his murderous plan.
The story continues with the boy growing into a man and eventually taking to his death bed. Here he lies dying in a morphine-induced fog where he envisions the many possible outcomes that could have occurred after his fateful ride with the blood thirsty farmer some sixty years ago. He imagines several scenarios of terrible violence as well as scenarios with peaceful outcomes. When the protagonist eventually dies his son watches on as the funeral home directors put the corpse into a body bag. We learn that the son will loop this moment over and over in his mind for the rest of his life.
In “Kansas” Dobyns addresses a sort of post traumatic stress disorder brought on by the terrifying and life threatening experience the main character experienced as a boy. This can also be seen in the reaction the son has to watching his father die. The story also alludes to the possible lifelong sense of regret the protagonist suffered because he had done nothing to effect a situation that may have led to a brutal murder.