I'm currently reading Amie Barrodale's collection, You Are Having A Good Time. Last night before bed, I read the story "Catholic." It's one of those infuriating, wonderful stories where to describe what actually happens--a young woman who feels very lost and has issues with substances falls in love with a rock band drummer. They have a connection that is simultaneously very slight and staticy, but also one that is profound because they're in love with the possibility of each other--would make very few people think, MUST READ.
One of the things I love (and it comes up in a few other stories in her collection) is that for a certain type of person, the way attraction and desire is communicated is through writing letters and e-mails and texts describing the things she's seen and experienced. Some of the appeal is definitely because Barrodale does this very well. Here's one of the ones I loved:
"I wrote him back, describing my shoes, which I had gotten free at work. I said I'd asked my coworker about them, and he'd become grave, looked me in the eye, and said, 'They're cool'."
I like the unextrarordinariness of that moment. I like that it captures someone trying to give a potential loved one a glimpse into her head. I like how much can be revealed about a character by how she tries to express herself, her life, to someone she might want. I like how Barrodale refuses to over write. I think it keeps the romance on the action being performed rather than being placed on the image being described.
What I also like is it reminds me of when I was first falling in love with my husband. We were friends for a longish time and there was a night where something changed between us. Nothing physical happened. I was with someone else. Nothing romantic was explicitly said. But something did happen. We can both point to that night where things changed between us. And that kicked off a summer that we spent despite sometimes being across the hall from each other, often being four and a half blocks from each other, seeing each other often between work and sharing a friend group, writing each other e-mails. Sometimes they were just jokes or asking about what was going on. But they were sometimes in that same mode: I want to tell you about this moment because I want you to be a part of it, even though you weren't there.