Problems in and Elicited by Homes’s “Do Not Disturb”

Opening lines of this story, in case you don’t know it: “My wife, the doctor, is not well. In the end she could be dead.” So you know you’ve got a pretty solid story. We have to watch this man watch his doctor wife be sick and maybe die. Complicating this initial conflict: this marriage for a while now hasn’t been going well. The wife’s an admitted bitch. “I am not going to be able to leave the woman with cancer,” the narrator says at one point. “I am not the kind of person who leaves the woman with cancer, but I don’t know what to do when the woman with cancer is a bitch.”

It’s not to say the story is perfect: “My wife is sitting up high in her hospital bed, puking her guts into a metal bucket, like a poisoned pet monkey. She is throwing up bright green like an alien.”

This is a mixed metaphor. She is like a monkey. She is like an alien. A monkey isn’t much like an alien, other than it’s not human. What’s funny is that these sentences are just like right next to each other. Later in the story, as the characters are pushing each other to their utmost limits, they go on a Ferris wheel and get stuck at the top. It’s almost a literal precipice. “How is it going to end?” the narrator asks. And then he says, “We’re a really bad match, but we’re such a good bad match it seems impossible to let it go.”

And then she says. “We’re stuck.”

And that’s when the ride gets stuck.
Continue reading Problems in and Elicited by Homes’s “Do Not Disturb”