We recently published Taylor Gordon’s lovely “The Devil’s Wife.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) I love the potential in this story: “Maybe your mother is on an upswing, or it’s snowing, or it’s summer.” Such a beautiful way to describe the memory of a day that is a good day simply because it is, not because it is anything in particular. Do you think this character has many days like this?
Thank you, Cathy. This piece explores the strange and slippery nature of memory. The way a certain quality of light, or a passing smell, might transport you back in time to a day you couldn’t pick out on a calendar but was a day when you felt, for a moment, very good (or bad, or found, or lost). Unfortunately, I think that means that the character in this story has not had many days like this one, but rather that that peace was distinct enough to imprint a feeling on the psyche that can be conjured up years, decades, a lifetime later. You may not know exactly why you were so carefree on that day with the watery sunlight or the smell of fresh bread in the air, but somehow it shaped what it means to you to be happy.
2) “You are changing and you always will be.” I love that line. It feels like life is a static thing, but the truth is, we are always growing and changing. How do you think the narrator grows and changes after this day?
The narrator has never been, and will never again be, the person they were at the moment of the story. They are growing away from this version of themselves even before the story has ended. I believe that, throughout our lives, most of us become strangers to our past selves. We may become strangers to ourselves many times as the possible paths of our lives spiral away from us in all directions. If that is true, nostalgia becomes a universal thing, a hive awareness of the past and who We once were. In this piece, I hope to tap into that feeling of nostalgia that can be very intimate and, at the same time, ubiquitous.