Robin Romm, "The Arrival"

Things get interesting at a depressing beach retreat when a stranger washes ashore.

(from One Story, #67)

Here’s the first sentence:
“My mother’s going to die.”
This didn’t make me want to read on necessarily, but it was effectively blunt and discomfitting deep down. And I was sitting in a comfortable position, so onward I read, hoping this wasn’t going to be another entry in the Illness Story. Really, I could start a separate blog for that genre. It turned out not be only 40% typical I.S. (the chemo, the grouchy patient, the graphically described symptoms), and 60% mystery and intrigue. So I enjoyed the awkward situation the well-meaning family and dying mother are put in when some lady they don’t know washes up on their beach and acts like it’s maybe not all that weird.
Bear with me on this: I watch Lost. It’s about these people who are stranded on an freaky little island. They’re always getting killed, and all kinds of weird things happen all the time. But nobody really dwells on the situation. It’s like, everytime somebody goes out into the jungle and comes across a monster made of smoke or a polar bear or whatever, they don’t gorunning back to camp like “Holy crap, I just saw horse!” or “I just killed whatsisname.” And nobody asks like where you been or why you got so much blood on you. And if they do the characters are just like, “We’re safe now. I need to stare off into distance for a bit. Leave me alone.” It’s kind of annoying. Then tonight, some dude shows up and actually has the audacity to chide the castaways for their curiosity. If you ask me, they are sooo not curious enough.
“The Arrival” has got a little bit of that going on. Like, this woman Amy pulls herself out of the ocean wearing one shoe and a not-for-swimming dress. And the narrator’s like what the hell, but mom’s way too cool with it. And Amy? She’s like what like people don’t normally do this? It works here, though, because at least we have our curious narrator.

Belle & Sebastian, “Dress Up In You”

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