Where I Came In

My latest at Eclectica.org. How we keep expecting the change that never comes and life keeps repeating itself.

“If the film actually did somehow manage to end in a different way from what you had earlier witnessed you might be surprised but probably not shocked as long as the lovers got together and peace and justice again prevailed in the land. Anything was possible once the usher had torn your ticket in half in that popcorn-scented lobby and handed you back the other half as a kind of talisman and three-hour visa into a world of happy endings….”

Read the entire essay.

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About Thomas J. Hubschman

Thomas J. Hubschman is the author of Look at Me Now, My Bess, Song of the Mockingbird, Billy Boy, Father Walther’s Temptation, The Jew’s Wife & Other Stories and three science fiction novels. His work has appeared in New York Press, The Antigonish Review, Eclectica, The Blue Moon Review and many other publications. Two of his short stories were broadcast on the BBC World Service.

Posted on April 27, 2017, in Aging, Other Thoughts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I knew someone who had to accompany his father to mass when the older gentleman visited him in NYC from their hometown of Troy, NY. My friend wanted to leave as soon as they got to the point in the mass where they came in but his father always made him wait until the end. We get the same thing, a trite version true enough, in the “circle of life” theme that is so effective for masses of people in The Lion King. But we need to know how to break into a chain when it’s just a question of going around in circles accomplishing nothing.

  2. Great post. Right now I have both a younger brother and an even younger sister living very close to death. One remains a committed Catholic, one struggles. Being among the non-believers in the Catholic sense myself, I have recently been much closer to that question “What does it all mean?” As I have said elsewhere, I can come up with only what I call my sole act of Faith: that life is good however full of pain and conflict and injustice it may so often seem to be.

    For many of those for whom that is not enough, the terrifying alternative that life is fundamentally meaningless is more than is bearable. And so the American (Christian? Platonic) dream that somehow we will manage to life happily ever after lives on. Like in the movies, we do live happily ever after.

    And Tom, I must admit – these days I prefer stories with happy endings. Real life is full enough of the other kind.

  3. Me too. I’m on a strict diet of depressing books now…race, atrocities, government malfeasance, etc. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I get a kind of therapy from reading happy-ending novels like Barchester Towers and The Way of All Flesh, both of which I reread recently. I’d love to read more contemporary books, but I find them disappointing and, frankly, boring.

  4. Speaking of “disappointing and, frankly, boring,” television series these days seem just as bad if not worse. I am finding Ian Rankin’s detective series Rebus well-written enough to provide a modicum of distraction. Not a permanent fix though.

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