There are boys in “Spiderhole” and tourists, who “don’t quite eat their sneers”:
“In the city, on R&R, boys like these whipped by faster than bats on bicycles, took the pens right out of your shirt pocket. But these kids, their auntie comes by with a bucket and yells them off and they disappear into the marsh. Hunting frogs for their families. Invisible.”
The worlds depicted in these stories are often divided into separate ways of being, into opposing sides (often subdivided once more) leaving readers without an allegiance, which sometimes feels disorienting and other times feels wholly uncomfortable.
Always, however, the observations possess an acuity to the observation, even when what is observed is a kind of absence.
In “Ryan & Irene, Irene & Ryan”: “Her body holds emotion like smoke in a barricaded room.” In “Thanatos”, “The child is picking at her stitches. This is the interstice. This is a non-place.” And, in “Record of Working”: “The air stretches in one long, lordly parabola between them.”
“Tourists come here to gawk, and we abjure them, but we can’t comprehend this place either.” There are moments in Zolitude which do offer an opportunity to connect, but perhaps the overarching intention is to remind readers that we are all struggling to find meaning and that that struggle is, itself, a more unifying force than any other detail.