what if i got down on my knees? – Tony Rauch

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

a series of romantic                                              misadventures                                             and   entanglements

“And right then I finally realize she isn’t coming back. And I feel that change stir inside of me. It peels away from me and grows to form a me that I don’t like. A me I don’t want. I feel my old life leak out of my arms, the old me wiggling into the cold air to follow her, the true me, the best of me, tingling and light, rushing out of my arms into the thin morning sky”

From bowling alleys, record stores and Piggly Wigleys in small-town America, what if i got down on my knees takes the randomness of love and life and puts it in almost twenty unique and often surreal stories, all written in the first person.

Most take a nostalgic look at love and life from young male perspectives, while also questioning what their futures will hold.

Some yearn to leave the small town for the big city, and a few make it. Some deal with the jealously of other men and the intense infatuation with a particular girl. Then there’s the guy in “weird sensation #86” who is too busy cleaning in hopes of finding someone who wants an “uncluttered life” that he realizes that he doesn’t have time to find someone.

There is the sobering story of the young son who learns that his father has another, younger family; another young man wonders if he is changing and everything else is the same or is he the same and everything else is changing.

I particularly enjoyed the bizarre first date in “lesser gods”.

And it gets weirder …
One wonders what would happen if someone stole his dreams (literally, dreams when he’s asleep) “…it feels like I’m missing something…a vague incompleteness-like someone has stolen a dream from me, like I have this fresh little empty space inside of me where a dream should’ve been…” Would they try and sell them to make a profit?

There’s also the man who generated a tiny baby and the giant baby that men ran to.

I have to admit that author Tony Rauch has a more creative imagination that I will ever have. Maybe that’s a bit of jealousy on my part.

Even though I didn’t understand the significance of all of the stories, I thoroughly enjoyed this venture into strange feelings and situations.

Then again, I did see somewhere in this book that “Not everything has to have some deep meaning to it…”

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