Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
This is the very short (41 pages) story of Lucas and Jeremy. The story is told from the point of view of Lucas, a hermit who exists in his apartment watching out the window at people, making stories about them and writing notes in notebook after notebook “He had never really written before he came to this apartment, but he found himself drawn to the idea of creating lives for these perfect strangers.” He doesn’t have a job and only goes out to the café in his building and that is where he comes across Jeremy, who works there part-time. Despite Jeremy’s beautiful smile and persistent friendliness, Lucas is rude and sarcastic to him always.
Lucas watches Jeremy, as well, as he heads down to work. He always stops at the department store across the street before his shift and the reason for that is sweet. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out why Jeremy kept up his pursuit of Lucas when Lucas was so adamantly against it but I’m glad he did.
Lucas is also rude to his brother, Kyle, the one member of his family who hasn’t given up on him even though his parents pay the rent on the apartment but it is ultimately Kyle that precipitates Lucas going over to Jeremy’s for a party. One that he refused to attend when he was invited but Kyle visiting on Christmas Eve changes things.
Had this story been longer it would have been a 4 star at least for me. The feel of Lucas’ depression was realistic. “Sometimes you wake up and think the effort it takes to get out of bed is impossible. Or the effort to get into the car, drive to work and be there for hours. And you find out the effort of doing anything is so great that you just do nothing.” It is never specifically stated but depression seems likely. Jeremy seems sometimes too perfect and here again I’d have liked a little more fleshing out of the character.
The cover art, a drawing of two men at a table in front of a window to the city, was a little too fluffy for the feel of the story. While it ends hopeful, there is a lot of sadness within Lucas.
Published June 18th 2018 by Less Than Three Press (first published November 30th 2013)