May 13, 2014
Michael Seidlinger’s The Fun We’ve Had is a mix of life, death, hate, love, a journey inside a coffin in the ocean, an allegory for the wars we wage against the inevitability of mortality. Like a modern Camus, nothing less than existence is at stake in Seidlinger’s latest voyage: “Each wave is its own feeling, rhythmic crashing of those that resist the tides… The waves are hellos; the incoming storm is the sincerest goodbye.” Sincerity, a struggle for candor, conflicted machismo, embroidered secrets that are exposed, armies of sharks, and the lines painted into the waves are the troughs and crests that fluctuate through the spectrum of human nature.
There is a line written to fill in for what she cannot express. This is another line written for all the lines she will never able to say, much less explain. And this line represents the halves that she’ll never identify. Every other line is written using the half that still remains… The rest became part of the telling. The rest is what cannot be washed away by the waves, at least not until she finally and fully lets go.
Seidlinger’s works are like rogue waves that wipe away expectations, draupners that decimate, devour, and envelope. Purgatory is flooded. You just never knew how much fun that could be.
It will always move us to feel, and upon feeling less, it features our final gasps. The current matches the stride of time, the orbit of the earth, the existence past existing, but it is never anything but final. The current outlasts the orbit of our lives; it gathers us together and tells us to swim. Keep swimming.
Peter Tieryas Liu’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Evergreen Review, Indiana Review, New Letters, New Orleans Review, and ZYZZYVA. HIs collection of short stories, Watering Heaven, was recently long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.