Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – Revolving Doors by Sharon Frame Gay

Something got in the way should apply only to happiness. I’d rather be a happy peasant than a genuinely depressed monarch. So in that regard it doesn’t matter if you are working the door or have it held open for you.

But, that is only partly true. Fulfillment is a key component of happiness. If you do not have something that you live to do and will continue to do no matter the result, something that feels yours alone, a reason to have a future, then you may very well be as lost inside as Maury in Sharon Frame Gay’s Revolving Doors.

Q: Judging from the comments that accompanied the debut of the story, Maury is someone who elicits both sympathy and vexation. Did those differing reactions surprise you?

Q: As to technical form, I admire the POV you took. The construction allows Maury to step back from himself, but maybe not far enough for an objective view. Do you believe him to be completely sincere–or maybe, as we all do, he laid it on heavier here and there so it might hurt more–to feel something

Leila

***

Revolving Doors

Sharon’s responses:

Q: Judging from the comments that accompanied the debut of the story, Maury is someone who elicits both sympathy and vexation. Did those differing reactions surprise you?

A. I don’t think the differing reactions surprised me, as Maury’s story was subjective. I portrayed Maury as the “common man”  – people we may pass on the street and never think about their lives, as we are too busy focusing on our own. His job as a doorman emphasized his invisibility. A character like Maury spotlights this type of journey, which some may find uncomfortable to read, and see Maury as annoying. Others may visualize him as a tragic figure, and feel sympathetic towards him. As mentioned in one of the previous comments from a reader in 2019, Maury tended to look at his job as a doorman as something “less” than he hoped to be, instead of a satisfying profession. Maury was devastated when he didn’t pass his law bar exams. His frustration resulted in drinking, then guilt. Realizing much later that he had made himself, and his wife, miserable for decades, nudged him to slide further into remorse. Ultimately, he wasn’t a heroic nor inspiring character, but rather a representative of those who never reached their goals.  

Q: As to technical form, I admire the POV you took. The construction allows Maury to step back from himself, but maybe not far enough for an objective view. Do you believe him to be completely sincere–or maybe, as we all do, he laid it on heavier here and there so it might hurt more–to feel something

A. That’s an interesting point. Perhaps he did swim in a pool of hurt and self pity in order to justify his losses, especially earlier in his narrative. When Maury came home one day, his wife sat at the table with tears in her eyes and told him she was leaving. At that point, Maury steps aside from his own personal struggle, setting her free and acknowledging the toll life had also taken on her. It was then he realized she had been his greatest champion, supporting him and his self-defeating habits. When she died, he desperately wanted to rekindle the love they once had and lost, even if it was merely to rest beside her in the cemetery. So, I believe in the end, he was sincere and honest with himself when facing a lifetime of regret. Maury’s tale is told by an old man who recognizes time wasted, love taken for granted, and dreams set aside. He had to reach the end of his life in order to peer back and view the tapestry he had woven, then paid for it in his lament. 

9 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Revolving Doors by Sharon Frame Gay”

    1. Thank YOU so much for re-running this story! I enjoyed answering your questions and I, as always, love working with you, and everybody, at Literally Stories!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, that was a downer … because Maury is so well-portrayed. Seems like he made the effort (e.g., taking the bar exam several times) before life got the better of him. A fine piece of character writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Leila,
    Excellent as always.
    Superb questions that makes the writer think.

    Sharon,
    It was brilliant to re-visit this.
    There was something that I should have mentioned in my first comments and that is a specific paragraph – The one that begins, ‘I became friends with the bottle for years’
    That is an absolute perceptive and astute piece of writing!!
    All my very best.
    Hugh

    Like

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