Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Every Word I Said," by Bill Torgerson

I once heard a teacher confess to a group of teens that he had not realized the complexity of his alcoholism until he’d gone through AA. He did not deny that alcohol was the culprit but much deeper was the insight that he loved an audience. His friends liked him when he was drunk because he could make them laugh. Applause, that’s what got him hooked. This is a confessional story about regretting some teenage behavior. I am usually not fond of short stories that rely on lengthy flashbacks or scenes that happened in the past. This one spends too much time recounting that. But I overlooked my preference because I was drawn to how this writer peeled away the layers of his teenage years groping for adulthood and how he later found a glimmer of truth about himself. The honesty of what he faces matters deeply. He convinces the reader that just saying he is sorry, while important, lacks weight. Read it here in Barely South Review.

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