The Sense of Touch: Stories
by Ron Parsons
Aqueous Books

"Touch is silent. And silence is the only way to contemplate infinite things."

Storyteller Ron Parsons offers eight tales, each dealing with touch, connection, and how we humans figure out what works or doesn’t, between us. In the title story, a writing student learns a “stone cold fact” that will help him deal with one relationship in tatters and an alluring but unsettling invitation to a new one. “Hezekiah Number Three” lays bare the slow self-destruction of a young Asian man tired of being alone in a foreign land, orphaned, unappreciated. In “Beginning with Minneapolis” a girl named Eve saves herself and her Adamic “mud man” after he digs a grave big enough for two. “Big Blue” connects the short life of a child and the long life of remembrance. In “The Black Hills” two old friends try to reunite, but there is a woman between them. An irresolute young woman has to choose between a sort-of-boyfriend and an old lady she’s just met, in the midst of a blizzard that plays its role in “As Her Heart Is Navigated.” A little boy needing a hero finds a reluctant one in “Moonlight Bowling,” and a starkly factual tale of murder told by the corpse─”Be Not Afraid of the Universe”─rounds out the collection.

Parsons has chosen a setting he knows─the icy northern Midwest where winters can be brutal and the scenery, at times, bereft of all color but the white of snow. His literary language is comfortably sophisticated: “Wheat gave Waylon’s life consistency”; “I felt the presence and the chill of silent infinity…” Each story is honed with purpose and infused with subtle energies. He creates delicate lines between the frigid cosmos and the warmth that can be generated among people. Parsons’ writing has a strong pulse. This debut assortment heralds his promising career.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home