The stories that follow unfurl characters that are in some way lost on maps they no longer know – characters in whom the tyranny of hope has become hopelessly comingled with the seduction of fear.
In “The Solicitor’s Journal” a young solicitor, new and alone in a small town out west, finds himself entwined in the shadiness of a sharkish lawyer and his unhappy wife. In time, the solicitor’s loneliness ascends into infatuation. Right and wrong become questions of opportunity, and, as the borders of deception and projection darken, the solicitor begins to blur the distinction between himself and the lawyer he so quietly despises. In the end, we watch the soul and the mind split in the desire to blind each from the machinations of the other.
“Flieghenhart” tells of a young man in a new city whose sense of loneliness is heavy with that silent panic and misjudgment common to foreigners in search of a “home.” He follows the terrifying yet fascinating Dutchman, Flieghenhart, a “flea-hearted” apartment broker with a bucketful of keys. Despite Flieghenhart’s broken English, we are left to feel that the characters misunderstand each other at a level far more fundamental than language. As we flow through the narrative, we experience the difficulties of dwelling within ourselves, the ease (and also danger) with which we evade those things we do no understand.
These stories present us with protagonists that are at once enraptured by hope and comforted by fear. They are whispered invitations from one reluctant voyeur to another – invitations to express our awe at the space required to embrace such tangled emotions. In other words, they are invitations to explore the fecklessness of solitude, to admit the force with which we are impacted by the persons we can never come to be.