‘My Father Sits In The Dark’ by Jerome Weidman

Weidman, Jerome 1934

My Father Sits In The Dark by Jerome Weidman, 1934

The magic trick:

Limiting the story’s sense of space but expanding the sense of ideas

This story feels more like a poem, maybe a one-act play. Oh, what’s that you say? Jerome Weidman was an award-winning playwright? Well, there you go.

It’s bare bones simple. And this is not a criticism at all. It is remarkable how quickly and seemingly without effort the story gets to the core of the rather gigantic issues of childhood, memory, father-son relationships and immigration. All that with essentially one set, two characters and about 1,600 words. And that’s quite a trick on Weidman’s part.

The selection:

‘Why don’t you go to bed, Pop?’
’I will soon, son.’
But he doesn’t. He just sits there and smokes and thinks. It worries me. I can’t understand it. What can he be thinking about? Once I asked him.
’What are you thinking about, Pa?’
’Nothing,’ he said.


What do you think about this story? As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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