I hate you, and I'll explain. I hate you because I'm trying to review blind, dammit, but – Kenji. If you didn't write this somebody's gonna be embarrassed. Most likely me. Having a voice that strong is not a bad thing by a long shot, I just hate you because I was trying to review somebody I didn't know and I should've just skipped this piece but I didn't. Whatever, I'm just going to continue on like I don't know it was yours.
I'm fond of the title and where it comes from, but I feel like there could be more in the text surrounding it somehow. Almost like, I'd like it if it was even more tangential.
When I read this through the second time, I made notes. I'll share them. They are, in their entirety:
repeat at least 3x
not sold on the ending
The first references that first full paragraph, where the cereal bowl was remembered. No, the cereal bowl wasn't remembered, it was seen. That whole idea of not knowing what day it is – don't remember things. You don't remember something, you observe something that reminds you "oh, yeah, I did that yesterday." You didn't remember the cereal bowl – you saw the cereal bowl.
3x: There's this thing I believe in (don't ask me why) that if you repeat something twice, it looks like an accident; repeat it three times (or more) and it's intentional and resonant, thematic. You did this with the dog barking but not with "write what you know" and it would've been more complete if there'd been another repeat of that. What would you add? I don't know; you're the writer. But three times. Three times is good. Three times means something. (See what I did there?)
I'm being stupid about this review. Alright. "of." Towards the end, you start adding it, and you don't need to. "Write what you know. I know nothing." Maybe you did that earlier as well, I'm too lazy to go back up and double-check. For some reason, if you think about it (and most people don't, really, but you should assume they do), knowing "of" nothing is quite a bit different from knowing nothing. Knowing "of" nothing almost implies nothing is something that could be known, and in this case you know it – in the way one might say "I know of physics," to mean they're aware of the science though they might not be an expert to any degree. I'm not sure which you intend, or if you even intended there to be a distinction, or if you even know what I'm on about. But it's a thing I noticed.
The final thing I noticed (appropriate as the piece ended) was that I wasn't sold on the ending. And I'm still not. Those last two lines are set apart, so I really feel like they should kick me in the gut, but they don't. The dog bit is good -- but given the previous paragraph, the sheets? I just don't buy it. I get it; I do. I just don't buy it. It doesn't have the impact I want it to. I realize precisely how unhelpful this observation probably is.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece, as always. Thank you for not giving Joyce any more cocaine. You have run-ons here but they're hemmed in and actually work well. I'll try to remember to glance at this tomorrow and see if I can come up with anything to better explain what I was on about with the end. Or not. I never know how to end things (clearly).