Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Report: The Peculiar State

Patricio Pron The Peculiar State

I enjoyed the incident below, an urban moment, and the telling of it, by Patricio Pron, in his short piece The Peculiar State:

She heads to Starbucks and orders a coffee and a cookie. “Tall, grande, or venti?” the barista asks. “Small,” she says. “Anything else?” the barista asks. “Yes, may I have a glass of tap water, please?” she says. “Tall, grande, or venti?” the barista asks.

That’s the playing field for the main characters in the story, a woman and a man, smart and hip creative types living in “a borough for artists and bohemians” and privileged in a digital, 21st century way that allows them to indulge in the game of metropolitan hide-and-seek as a way to explore their relationship.  The cold-bloodedness of the narrative is compelling, the descriptions of the different cityscapes are well composed, but as far as the relationship between the two main characters, I think Ernest Tubb put it best a long time ago:  “There are two things in this world I don’t understand/One of them’s a woman, other one’s a man.”


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