Mel Bosworth- Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom (114 Pages)
*Special thanks to Brown Paper Publishing and Mel Bosworth for making this book available to those who wanted to write about it. They are both good eggs and good heroes. Good eggy heroes.*
Grease Stains… is a book about love and about memory. When we look back and tell some of our favourite stories, what kind of a light will our memory cast on the actual events? Will our memory let us tell things how we want to tell them or will it constantly intercede with the odd ‘get on with it!’ or ‘hurry up and get to the good part’. This is the case in the book where narrator David is trying to remember and tell the story of a glorious couple of days spent with Samantha, a girl he met in a drunken haze months before and is now meeting again but kind of for the first time. Will all the feelings come back or will it be just an awkward weekend spent between two people who spend too much time in their own heads, batting their own definitions of love back and forth like kittens playing with a ball of string.
Narrator David is trying to tell us the story. He is trying to remember all of the best bits and most of these bits are about beautiful Samantha. Too beautiful, too lovely, too perfect. We’re never really sure if this is the first of many meetings or a last goodbye. Narrator David tells us one thing, his memory tells us another. Either way, the reader is taken through ever beer drinking, cigarette smoking, grease stained, sweaty minute of their short time together. As individuals, David and Samantha are screwed up twenty-somethings but when they are together, when they embrace they become something much more powerful. Bosworth describes them as a sort of monster: four legs, four arms, one penis, one vagina. They are much stronger that way. Almost invincible as they navigate the world together to see if it’s something that can even be sustained for longer than a single weekend.
Bosworth’s writing is simultaneously masculine and vulnerable. Vulgar, honest, and insecure. Most importantly, he tells us the truth about his characters. Grease Stains… represents a lot of the good things that the novella and shorter fiction can do. It’s a story that is immediately accessible and in the right now. No wasted words. No wasted pages. Sincere and direct.