May is national short story month, so in honor of that, The Bushwick Review will feature a short story every day on this tumblr. It will be by a living writer.
The short story for May 1 is “To the Interstate” by Rebecca Curtis.
I remember reading reviews for Rebecca Curtis’ short story collection on Goodreads and noticing how many people said they preferred the “realistic” stories to the “experimental” ones. I disagree. The more realistic New Yorker-type stories (they actually were published in The New Yorker) are not the ones that stick with me. The stories that stay with me are the more surreal stories like “The Near-Son”, “The Wolf at the Door”, and especially, “To the Interstate”. I find those stories to be more unexpected, in both content and language.
In “To the Interstate”, the narrator tries to escape from a home with her friend, maybe sister. They are getting away by car, but can’t seem to drive very far and also two homeless men keep getting in their vehicle. There’s something about this story that accurately depicts dream logic. The way the car can’t seem to go anywhere, the way the narrator can’t push the car door’s locks all the way down to keep the homeless men from getting in, the constant sense of dread… it feels like being in a dream, or maybe a slow burn nightmare.
You can read “To The Interstate” in Rebecca Curtis’ collection Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money.
“To the Interstate” is not online anywhere, but another great story by Rebecca Curtis, “Wolf at the Door”, is available to read online at Muumuu House.