Here is my new short story, “The White Defeatist,” a tale about a progressive architect who confronts his own assumptions about himself, his family and his city.
Set in Van Nuys, the story has contemporary issues involving race, class, development and prejudice. Yet the plot develops in ways unexpected and leaves the reader to make up their own mind about the story.
A progressive architect is forced to confront his assumptions about himself, his family and his city.
After our mother’s funeral, I flew in a plane, from Little Rock to Los Angeles, accompanied by my older sister Stephanie and her catatonic, teenage son Norman.
Over Arizona, I looked out at the vast, unpopulated desert below and remarked.
“All that space, all that enormous emptiness.”
That comment induced a reaction from Stephanie, who told me about some vacant land for sale in Van Nuys near the house she rented. Perhaps she was trying to distract me from grief.
“I know you don’t like to visit me or Norman or Van Nuys, but perhaps I can lure you there for other reasons,” she said.
I hated their dirty house. It made me feel unclean.
She and her son lived in dilapidation: pet urine, hair in the drain, flies, animal hair, the stink of…
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