It Was Romance by Miranda July, 2003
The magic trick:
Summing up the story with a concluding paragraph of lyrical beauty
Miranda July is very good at turning the most mundane experiences into a kind of poetry. A self-absorbed, hipster lyricism perhaps, but poetry nonetheless.
The ending to “It Was Romance” is a prime example.
The story follows an odd group of misfits who are groping for some kind of happiness and community, and concludes with an appropriately odd (and very nice) image of stacked chairs, isolated but together. And that’s quite a trick on July’s part.
We walked down the hall and entered the auditorium just in time to help stack the chairs. There was no system for stacking and so we accidentally made many sub-stacks that were too heavy to lift and join together. The stacks of various heights stood alone like ice floes. We gathered our purses and walked to our cars.
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