The whole story can be summed up in the title, June and the narrator felt that they “wanted to be together and alone and separate from everything else.” June had been molested as a young girl and now that she wanted to have a sexual relationship with someone, those feelings reasserted and messed with her relationship. There are at least three themes for me: we can often help strangers but are powerless to help those closest to us, people’s injuries are not necessarily “visible and palpable and measurable,” and the effects of abuse extend much further than the immediate victim.
The story reads so naturally that you feel like someone did just tell it to you.
Favorite Line: “There was a terrible beauty in her that I could only lean close to, could only catch fleeting glimpses of.”
“Together and Alone and Separate from Everything Else” was published in the literary journal, Salt Hill, issue number 33.