I almost gave up on this book (FLORIDA by Lauren Groff)... a collection of eleven short stories. After the first 67 pages, I had downed the first three short stories and felt like I was in a senseless storm ... up, down, here, there, wind, dirt, sweat ... and for what? I said to myself: "My time is more precious than to use it up in a nonsensical storm." I put the book away and started another, which I rarely do. Without a clear explanation as to why, I put FLORIDA back into my hold and read the next short ... The Midnight Zone ... which made me weep. With vengeance, I wept. With this story, I was back inside, out of the inclement weather, better able to walk on solid ground and realize the truth about time, which is that "time is impassive, more animal than human. Time would not care if you fell out of it. It would continue without you. It cannot see you; it has always been blind to the human and the things we do to stave it off ... (Florida, p. 81, Groff)." In other words, time gives no fuck about how I feel about triumphs or tragedies. Storms or the calms. It doesn't care. It just goes on.
Salvador was another short (the seventh in the book) that provided calm in the larger storm of the book. And the rest of the pages ... were read but not adored. At least by me.
Would I recommend this book? Not necessarily. Not for everyone. Not for those who can't stand being in storms or walking through incomplete tangles. Not for those who would rather work on their neat and tidy planners than be exposed to things not neat and tidy.
Surprisingly, I think due to the influence of FLORIDA, I recently found myself explaining to a person about some of the storms I find myself in the middle of ... about my rage toward the storms ... about my imagining yelling to the storms ... "Go ahead, mother fuckers ... destroy the barn! Destroy it all! And after you're done, I'll fucking start from there."