I’ve been reading Tim Gautreaux’s work for years now, and recently finished his latest book, Signals: New and Selected Stories. His books deal with the everyday travails of the lower or middle class. This excerpt is from a story about a junk yard operator whose life if altered by finding a stunning, jeweled demonstration sewing machine with a needle with the engraved message: ART STITCHES ALL. You can read that story here. This paragraph occurs before the transformation:
Alva had alway been what he was, going neither up nor down in fortune. He thought about how he was forty-five and envious of his workers because they at least had done something else in their lifetimes. He looked over at the wrecked and rusted chain-link fence forming the west corner of the yard, where a bramble mountain concealed a heap of uncrushed car bodies and refrigerator doors. The notion that he might straighten the place up a bit crossed his mind and kept on going.
Tim Gautreaux, from “The Safe,” in Signals, New and Selected Stories