if you look close enough

The commonplace can break your heart. Really. The creak of a chair, the hush of fabric, the shape of a leaf, plywood, orange juice. The simplest things in and of our every day, when considered, can too often tend toward tears. Of course, it’s not those things themselves that are heartbreaking, but what they represent — the creak says he’s gone; the hush tells you she was never really there; the shape was once an idea; plywood is what could have been built; and that pitcher of juice was your share of something cool and refreshing that never will be shared again.

Hell, in the stories of Miranda July, even the dust on a television can make you violently sad. It saddens her characters anyway, all of whom seem to waltz through life with inner monologues made from the pain of nuance. Everybody may not hurt, but if you look close enough, everything does. But, sad as things can be, July’s characters still trot hopefully off to open the post office box. Sure, there’s desperation in the air, yet somehow they’re moved to believe that pie in the sky will one day be theirs for the eating.

-John Hood, from a review of Miranda July’s “No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories”


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