Response – Anything Helps

Reading: Anything Helps from McSweeney’s

Impressions: What I like about this piece is that it is written from an untypical point of view. Even though it’s a third-person story, I really got a sense of who the central character, Bit, is. The story is gritty but not too offensive. It seems very real, no sugar-coating the tough realities of homelessness and what it means to climb out of the gutter.

My favorite part of the story:

This wasn’t what he meant to do, this self-pity. He wanted to talk like real people, but Bit feels himself fading. It’s like trying to speak another language–conversational suburban–and it tires him out the way group does: everybody crying out their bullshit about the choices they’ve made and the clarity they’ve found.

Reading that passage made me chuckle and scoff. I wondered if Bit had been somewhere other than the suffocating suburbs, would things have turned out differently for him?

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