Where were you when time collapsed?
June 27, 2019 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Without the confines of linear time, the rain does not bother me. Out of habit I wear a raincoat, but when I’m soaked it’s not unpleasant — it just is, like everything now. It’s never cold or warm. It’s the perfect neutral temperature that so many years of climate control sought to obtain. I ride my bike under the laden clouds, along routes I’ve deemed to be safe: past the marina, where the moorings of boats both real and remembered moan and creak in the river’s sway; along one stretch of empty highway, where shimmering ghost houses teeter on knotweed hills, ghost children in their windows, ghost wives hanging laundry, ghost steelworkers forever climbing down rickety stairs to the mills. A short story by Tess Allard.
posted by ChuraChura (12 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
How beautiful.
posted by sallybrown at 2:53 PM on June 27, 2019

It is such an evocative description of Pittsburgh - I recognized it immediately. And Pittsburgh is a city that does sometimes feel like all of its history exists together.
posted by muddgirl at 3:24 PM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

I … I think I need to find someone to hug for a very long time now
posted by scruss at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Lovely read. Sometimes I think sci-fi/speculative fiction is at its best in the form of a short story. Many thanks!
posted by Thorzdad at 3:42 PM on June 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

Thank you so much! Wow. Sad, and thought provoking, but oh, such absolutely gorgeous use of language.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:09 PM on June 27, 2019

If this appeals to you, you might want to watch A Ghost Story.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 4:25 PM on June 27, 2019

Holy shit.

That’s all I got right now.
posted by Alterscape at 4:26 PM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

What a piece of memory, all squashed flat. It is a little like being over invested in the web, where you can see millions of people reduced to two dimensions.
posted by Oyéah at 8:00 PM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Where's the future? The writing was ok. But I thought it lacked imagination. The times imagined precluded a future past the author's own life. Meh.
posted by metametamind at 9:04 PM on June 27, 2019

I thought it was haunting and beautifully written.
posted by dejah420 at 9:57 PM on June 27, 2019

I thought the implication was that there was no future to be had.
posted by tavella at 10:06 PM on June 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

Or at the very least, there is no memory of the future, when it is memories that have imprinted themselves onto the earth.

Amazing and beautiful story, absolutely stunning ending. I don’t normally wish this about short stories, but I would love the right person to turn this into a short film. The narrator biking through insubstantial loops of memory and endless rain would be so amazingly cinematic.
posted by ejs at 10:41 AM on July 1, 2019

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