My flash fiction piece “Last Date” has been published in The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette. (Note: Although the story is not overly explicit, the Gazette contains adult content).
There’s actually a lot going on in this little piece. I didn’t even realize it myself until I re-read it just now, a few months after writing it. I thought it was mostly about love and aging; that is, how aging alters our experience of love, which is a theme on which I’ve focused a great deal in my recent work. And it is about that, of course, but what really strikes me now is that, in a very big way, it’s also about loss. The lost love. The lost chance. The loss of libido. The loss of youth.
I can only conclude that I must have been very sad when I wrote this piece. That some small part of me must still wonder, must still be dwelling on what might have been; not just in love, but in life itself. Perhaps it’s like that for all of us as we grow older. Perhaps we all reach a point at which we realize that certain paths are no longer open to us, or at least that they’re now packed with obstacles that simply didn’t exist in our youth.
I think that’s why I started writing again after such a lengthy hiatus. Because in my stories and novels I can explore any path I choose; even those which, for whatever reason, are no longer open to me. I can live the life that, in reality, I chose not to live; take the chances I didn’t take; recapture the opportunities I failed to grasp. And it comforts me sometimes to arrive at the end of that imaginary road-not-taken and conclude that I didn’t miss much after all. That I didn’t have to give up what I have in order to pursue some shadow of a dream that would never pan out in the real world, anyway; that the real charm of the fantasy lies in its very unreality.
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“Last Date” is one of the stories featured in my collection Romance Shorts: Love Stories by Lori Schafer, FREE in digital formats for a limited time on Amazon (Universal Link) , ITunes , Barnes and Noble , Kobo , Smashwords and Lulu . For more information, please visit the book’s webpage or subscribe to my newsletter.
As always, you have an incredible way of putting me right there with you, feeling every emotion, every touch, every loss, bringing to the surface what many of “us older women” have either locked away or denied ourselves to explore. Thank you.
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Thank you, Elena – that’s very sweet of you to say. This is a common theme in my fiction – I wonder why! – and one to which I think those of us in the over-40 set can generally relate.
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