Life shows us time and time again that all it takes is an experience. To scar us, to inspire us, to sweep us off our feet. Experiences live inside moments; each experience is born out of the exact circumstances of the moment in which it takes place. Experiences can present themselves as a full picture, or a single puzzle piece that falls into place in the future. We as humans are densely-packed masses of stardust made up of every experience we have ever had. Though some experiences may go without explanation, each and every one of them is a gift. The bittersweet end to Meno’s “Midway” illustrates just how precious a single moment can be, even when the events leading up to it have been anything but fortunate.
The prolonged concern that the narrator has for his brother in this short story gives one the notion that all of his uncanny decisions will lead the story to a tragic end. Even in the last couple of pages as the narrator encounters his brother at the airport, the reader may question whether the disagreement between the two will result in a physical fight. It is for these reasons that the actual ending that Meno put to this piece is so pleasing. In contrast to the negative, somber feel that the majority of the story conveys, this ending puts a very uplifting spin on things.
“Midway”, by Joe Meno, teaches us a crucial lesson. This author uses his own personal experience to show us that all we have in the end is just that – our experiences. Regardless of whether your past is composed of fond memories or is simply too painful to reflect back on, your past experiences are a unique sequence of events that have set you up for the priceless moments you have yet to experience. Even in the midst of his girlfriend moving, his parents missing an action, and his younger brother’s foolish decisions, the narrator manages to pause if only for a
second to thank the universe for all of the experiences, however negative, that lead him up to that moment in time. This quality of picking the blessings out of life’s madness like crystals from the ashes is something we should all aspire to.
All it takes is a single experience to prove that life gives back. No matter what the circumstances, there is always room for change. In a world that is ever growing and developing, change is the only constant. And with change, comes experience. “Midway”, by Joe Meno, is a story about focusing not on life’s flaws, but on the irreplaceable moments that are born out of them. (Courtney Aiken/COS student)