Short story: “The Ground the Deck”

by look i have opinions

“The Ground the Deck,” by Jo Lloyd

Online here as a sample of the Fall 2013 Ploughshares

7,416 words

One of those relentlessly witty and ironic stories that leaves you feeling exhausted—moved, but exhausted. Really well done.

“She tied her hair back and studied her reflection and saw that she was the same as she had been.” I think (and hope) Megan is wrong, that she has grown wiser, but I’m not completely sure. I think and hope she hasn’t grown bitter, but I’m not sure about that either.  The story hinges not on Megan changing, but on the heartbreaking suspense about whether and how she will change.

The lack of quotation marks doesn’t have a disorienting or defamiliarizing effect here. It makes the dialogue sound breezy and thereby, I think, makes the characters’ absurd vapidity even more absurd.

Not a fan of the title. I guess it has to do with Megan’s sense of being adrift, even on dry land.