There. But. For. The. Why.

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There
In or at that place! There is the house. There is that man, still hovering at the window. There is the world. There is a stranger in the house.
How much do we know about people really? People we met years ago, felt  a connection with, maybe spotted them some change for lunch or held the door open for them. We remember them, think of them sometimes even. Lives are bustling around us and dilemmas come and go and sometimes we are confronted by the question of life. Miles, or Milo (its sounds so much better that way) is a man who helps, answers question and cares for others, strangers even. His life is in pieces because we see it from different people, not from him. He has a fragmented life as he walks up the stairs to the room that will be his escape from life. Miles is there, he is a being who is there in front of us in a pixelated form. The rest of the novel has to work on putting the puzzle pieces of Miles together.
But
On the contrary! But, maybe it isn’t true. But, how does that work? But shouldn’t we choose the better path? But, how do we live a life with a man locked upstairs?
There are so many questions is life! Brooke is a perfect example of this; curious and thirsty for knowledge! When a child writes a story they tell the truth, it may be under the guise of imagination and fancy, but it is entirely and brutally honest. Brooke is Miles’s friend, she understands him better than anyone else. But, what can a child do under the shadow of a world that does not understand Miles.
For
With the object or purpose of.
What is the purpose of shutting yourself in a room in a strangers home? The narrative of this story is broken, there are gaps and spaces that can never be filled. For what purpose?! Miles is a man but is he masculine? Can he fill the role that society deems right for a man? He is giving and loving and caring and lost in time. He seems like a floating ghost of a man throughout the narrative, no one really knows or maybe just don’t care to know who or what he is.
The
Is used for this and that. The man is upstairs. The window is shut. What does the note say?
Miles is still upstairs, months have passed, time is no longer a concern. His presence is normal now, extraordinarily normal. The home is too perfect to break down the door. Popularity springs from a mans struggle with life. Silent protest doesn’t even get him anywhere. At least now, in this room, he is in control of something, even if its only within 4 walls.
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If I could add a chapter to this book, I would title it WHY… It is a brilliant book with compelling narrative but I want to get into Miles head and ask him why all this happened. But, (there is that word again) maybe it is up to the reader to determine why. Because, “the fact is,” life is presented in fragments. It is up to us to piece them together to find meaning.
-Kp

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One thought on “There. But. For. The. Why.

  1. Hey sis! I shared your frustration with this book but after some contemplation, I started to understand what the author was attempting to do. This is a book of questions and puzzles and, like you said, “It is up to us to piece them together to find meaning”. Perhaps the last chapter, ‘The’, has so many “the fact is” facts like you mentioned because this serves to give us a sense of stability after the confusion and questioning of the previous chapters. At first I thought one of the main purposes of this book was to encourage us to question absolutely everything you’ve reminded me that Ali Smith, at the end of her book, seems to be showing us that there are things some don’t have to question, that there is a foundation of facts to fall back on.
    -Julia (:

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