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j.w.olson
November 16th, 2011, 07:19 PM
[content removed]

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Author's Note: I wrote this scene in a fit of inspiration because it came to me very strongly one day when I was reflecting on my old hometown friends who I've mostly left five years and a twelve hour drive behind me. I realize it is a strange request, but I would be most pleased if any of you reading would share your interpretations of this scene -- what is in the bag (literally/metaphorically)? What is going on here? Etc. I am also very unsure of my title -- as is it does not mean anything and only functions to cryptically sway your thoughts about what is in the bag. What would a better title be/accomplish? Any other advice/criticism/commenting is appreciated as always. Thanks all,
JW

The Jaded
November 17th, 2011, 04:52 AM
Firstly, the piece functions pretty well, from a self-contained standpoint. The interpretation of the title is a little vague, but that's not something for us to tell you, it's for the writer to define for the reader. A good title in my view provides a tiny tidbit of information that's useless by itself, but by the end of the story is put into context and makes sense. If it isn't accomplishing what you want it to, change it - after all it's just the title.

The way I interpreted the piece is that these two old friends, perhaps from college, have been seperated for years and have come together to destroy the last evidence of an old secret they kept together. As for what's in the bag? I thought, at first, it was bones, like the narrator's little diversion into semantics implied, but it could also well be incriminating evidence of a number of types.

j.w.olson
November 17th, 2011, 05:00 AM
Thanks for your response!

I am very much against the title as I currently have it written. My wife suggested that "Bonfire" would make a better title. I almost want to just name it "Burning the Black Athletic Bag" or "Offering" or some other such thing. Something to do with a sacrifice to a god that looks over transformations and evolutions? Not sure who that would be...

She also suggested that burning the bag symbolizes our destruction of the high school notion of friendship which requires frequent get-togethers, hanging out, and seeing each other every day and replacing it with the adult notion of friendship (which in this specific instance, for me, involves living 12 hours apart from each other and going months without communicating, but still behaving as old friends when we do meet).

I don't want to end the conversation early, but her interpretation (which she gave shortly after I posted) does ring very true to how I feel about this piece.

However, there is also a strong feeling of guilt and illicit behavior surrounding their actions in this story, and I don't know how that would fit...

The Jaded
November 18th, 2011, 04:02 AM
Well, you could force the story down one of those two paths with a title. As is the title suggests illicit behavior, hence my interpretation of a literal cover-up and less symbolism. If you wanted to go the other way, the new title should probably help steer the reader that way.