Guest Post, Gregory J. Wolos: Dear Story

Gregory WolosDear Story—

It’s over between us. We knew it would come to this, and the news that you’ve been accepted by a new lover is a bittersweet reminder of what we once meant to each other.

It’s with an effort, Story, that I remember our first days together: you showed up at the back doorstep of my awareness—naked, untamed, willful—dangerous! You entered my life as a vague notion, a possibility. How could I resist falling passionately and obsessively in love? For weeks I could think of nothing else but you. Friends knew—they saw it in my inwardly turned eyes, my inattention to their conversation. “Not again,” they warned, shaking their heads. They know me to be a destructive lover.

And they were right—I followed my old patterns. It wasn’t enough to cherish you as you came to me—I had to try to change you. I insisted that you look a certain way: with fierce demagoguery I controlled your language; you spent time only where I allowed; only those individuals I chose for you were permitted inside your paragraphs. Worst of all, nearly every time we met I questioned your size. Trim down, I commanded, tighten up—what will others think? Yes, my lost love, I confess, how you appeared to others was always a priority—when they appraised you, what would they be thinking of me?

Can you believe that I was only searching for your heart? Can you believe the paradox of my love—my efforts to improve you were intended to prepare you to be loved by someone else.

Then, Story, you were nearly done. How old the new looks in retrospect. The truth is, in our last moments together, even as I straightened your seams, swept your hair from your eyes, and corrected with a finger wag the last imperfection of your speech, I was already forgetting you! “Finished” is a cruel word, dear Story. I sent you away, and you didn’t object. I forgot about you, until your new lover wrote: “Is Story available? We love her and want to feature her in our pages.” And without a moment’s pause I’ve given you up. It’s a formality—our end was born in our beginning.

It will be months before I see you again, Story. Our names will be paired, but you’ll no longer belong to me. My eyes will scan your glittering new font and narrow, justified columns, but I won’t read you. I’ll have archived your heart. Acquaintances will quote you to me, and I’ll look at them, confused. “Who?” I’ll ask. “What?”

I’ll be listening for the backdoor laughter of a new lover.

So, Story, adieu—forgive my fickleness—even the brief flirtation I’ve shared with this letter has cooled. It’s all part of the game.

Your Author,
Gregory J. Wolos

Gregory Wolos

Gregory Wolos

Gregory Wolos has published more than seventy short stories in print and online journals and anthologies, including The Georgia Review, The Pinch, Post Road, Silk Road Review, Nashville Review, A-Minor Magazine, Yemassee, The Baltimore Review, The Madison Review, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, The Los Angeles Review, jmww, PANK, Superstition Review, and Zymbol. His stories have earned six Pushcart Prize nominations, and have won contests sponsored by Solstice, the Rubery Book Awards, Gulf Stream, and New South. He lives and writes in Massachusetts on the bank of the Charles River. For full lists of his publications and commendations, visit his website.
Gregory Wolos

5 thoughts on “Guest Post, Gregory J. Wolos: Dear Story

  • November 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm
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    I think I may be even more of a fickle lover with my stories — I seem to fall out of love long before they’re finished. It’s good that you take them until the end!

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  • November 11, 2012 at 12:33 am
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    I quite enjoyed this blog post. I fall in love with the idea of my stories, in every way possible, and then I get tired of my stories before any of them are complete, which is completely sad. I have several unfinished stories that are dying to be read again, but I can hardly look at them! As for the “finished” stories, I still find myself liking them.

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  • November 13, 2012 at 11:34 am
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    My love for my stories sometimes makes me hesitant to revise them; I hide them away and never get around to deepening my understanding of them! Alas, I am a jealous lover!

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