I walked the dog a little bit extra while I listened to this story (Max says thank you, Charlie Jane Anders) to give you an idea of how quickly I fell into this narrative and how much I wanted to see where it was going. Set in a future that’s still quite recognizable, the main point of this tale, from Women Destroy Science Fiction, is a broken up relationship intersecting with a new kind of technology.
Ot at least, that’s how it seems at first. To me, the story instead became about how selective our memories are (or can be), and how we need the whole to understand the parts and how friendships and relationships and self-identities all intersect in a giant, tangled mess of psyches, and being able to truly understand another point of view wouldn’t necessarily untangle that snarl. It’s also about friendship, and a level of forgiveness I’ll never personally attain.
While there was one scene between the women that made me sigh in my tired queer guy reading a story set in the future way—oh look, we’re still like this—it’s not like it wasn’t realistic, it was just that little slice of depressing ‘how far we still have to go’ and the story had me captivated throughout. I would have loved to keep going, just a little bit more, which is always a great way to feel at the end of a short story.