Filed under: Story Sundays | Tags: john jodzio, literature, pank magazine, reading, short stories, story sunday, this is all the orientation you are gonna get
Story Sundays is a weekly feature at Fat Books & Thin Women. Always short stories, always ones available online for free.
John Jodzio’s “This Is All the Orientation You Are Gonna Get” is a powerhouse of a story, one that punches you in the gut, repeatedly, and proves just what a skilled writer can do with 500 words. There is a gorgeous repetition to this story, which underscores not just the routine and drudgery of work and a life but the need for that routine and the reasons behind it.
“This Is All the Orientation You Are Gonna Get” is about a woman who works at a nail salon. Jodzio’s story opens:
Tell your customers they have pretty hands, even if they don’t, especially if they don’t. Good breath means good tips. If you get sad, go into the break room and stick your head in the pickle bucket filled with the Mexican nail polish and you’ll get happy real quick.
It’s that image, of the pickle bucket filled with Mexican nail polish, that comes up again and again in the story and gives to Jodzio’s prose, though spare, the feel of verse. And though he never manipulates his reader, if you don’t reach the end of this story feeling like your heart’s been squeezed to a pulp – something’s not right.
Go. Read. Now.
Be sure to visit Shivanee at Novel Niche and read her Story Sunday post. If you’d like to join in and begin posting your own Story Sunday feature, email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.