Our twelfth offering is “Colliding” by Alex Gorman, a man with degrees in biology and mass communication, who uses neither of them. Instead, he sells software for a living. He lives in sunny California and spends as much time as possible with his wife, son, and daughter. With what free time he has left over, he writes.
By Alex Gorman
Alice thought Roger was great. Since the moment she’d stumbled into his arms while crossing the street, Alice had thought of nothing but him. Well, almost nothing but him. She’d also spent some time thinking about the fat man.
It wasn’t that the fat man was attractive. Alice wasn’t really into heavier men. Next to the fat man, Roger was built like a Greek god. But there was something about the fat man that kept drawing Alice back to that chance encounter in the intersection. There she was, straightening her blouse, exchanging smiles with Roger, and the fat man just sort of appeared, moving by quickly, pretending not to notice the sudden romance.
It was a strange obsession. Alice thought about him in the shower, while shampooing her hair. She thought about him in her office, staring out her fifth floor window, watching the people of San Francisco bustle by. She thought about him in a warm glow, breathing heavily after Roger rolled to his side of the bed with a contented sigh.
It must have been the fat man’s smile, the subtle grin lifting his lips, as if he was in on a joke she’d missed.
When Alice saw him again, she couldn’t resist saying something. She was out for drinks with Shelly, who did the books for a tech startup across the way. It was a new lounge, an upscale place, and Alice had worn the little black dress she wore when she wanted to drop jaws, rather than just catch eyes.
The fat man sat alone at a corner table. He seemed quite content, perched somewhat precariously on a stool, almost blending into the wall in a heavy, dark brown blazer and black pants. He peered with animate interest into every face, that subtle grin fixed upon his mouth. And every face, man and woman alike, seemed dedicated to ignoring him completely.
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Reviews to date:
“Colliding” by Alex Gorman is an odd little short where Alice finds a strange fat man who only she can see. The fat man is something more, though. I suspect the story was more effective if it wasn’t for a recent event in all the news, but it’s a clever use of particle physics and romance. – Chuck Rothman, Tangent Online.
What do you think? We liked the energy of this one, and the wonderful reveal of relevant abstraction.