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We were the first generation of the shopping mall, the freeway loop, the automated sprinkler system. The enclosed shopping mall was our control center, our command post, Valhalla. It was where we went to search for affirmation, for confirmation of our values, for hope, for love. Perusing menus at the food court, we felt grown-up and responsible. Gazing into the eyes of the teeny-bopper girls we met up with there, we hoped for acceptance, for recognition, possibly the solution to the rest of our lives. Knowing we had no options but to return to our suburban homes, where there was nothing but a TV and a bedroom and dinner, with family members swarming all around, obtrusively, annoyingly, cloyingly, like white noise cranked up to earsplitting levels. We couldn’t wait for the day when we would be out on our own, sitting in our own rooms, staring at our own TVs.
Publishing date: December 10, 2021
Paperback: 170 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 0.43 x 9 inches
Steven McBrearty grew up in San Antonio, Texas, in one of those big, rollicking Catholic families so common in the 1960s. On any given day, there might be games of pitch and catch in the hallway or tackle football in the back bedroom. He moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas and has lived in Austin ever since. He has published more than 35 short stories, humor pieces, and non-fiction articles and has received several honors for his writing. He is the author of two short-story collections, Christmas Day on a City Bus (McKinney Press, 2011) and The Latin Sub (Adelaide Books, 2018). He has two grown children and four lovely grandchildren.