Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 21, 2020

Lately, I have been walking to the gym. It is about 1.4 miles one way. I go there, do my workout, and walk home. One consequence is not riding the stationary bike, and listening to podcasts. When it is a good story, this can be transformative. It is an magical escape from one place, into another.

Today, I chose to listen to a story while walking home. The story was Rainbows, by @JosephONeillx. It was one of the good ones. By the time I went through the railroad underpass off Peachtree Road, my pace had grown even more glacial than normal. I did not want to miss a single detail. It did help that I was off the busy main road, whose loud traffic drowned out the action.

Listening to a story, as opposed to reading it, is a different path for the information. The author’s voice telling the tale is a more intimate connection that reading dead tree text. In this story, the reading author is a man. I assumed the lead character, Clodagh, was also male. When a Aoife, the daughter, appeared, and a husband named Ian, I just thought this was just the trendy New Yorker. It wasn’t until much later in the story, that it dawned on me that Clodagh might be female. The gender is never confirmed one way, or the other.

The story is rather disturbing. (Spoiler to follow) Aoife is being sexually harassed at school, and files a complaint. The boy who gets metooed is the son of a laundry owner. Clodagh Nolastname is a VIP customer. (This all happens in New York. Clodagh is not poor.) The Chinese laundry lady tells Clodagh to take her business elsewhere. Clodagh is mortified that it was not handled family-to-family, but through the authorities.

I continue to walk through a glorious October afternoon. The leaves are still mostly green. The election is in two weeks, and we will see what becomes of the anti-christ POTUS. The story ends when I get into the house, and I listen to the credits. Theme music is by North American Plastics, which somehow sounds as New Yorkeresque as not knowing whether mom is a man, or a woman.

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