Be Here Now

934 words 4 pages
* The short story ”Be Here Now” written by Miguel Syjuco, was published in 2012. The short story is from Miguel Syjuco’ anthology “Elsewhere”. We meet a journalist who is struggling with PTSD, and his girlfriend Jenna. The story is about a mixed race man, his grandfather was Asian. He is a photographer, and he has previously been taking war pictures in an Arabic country.
“I browse through some of my photos that made front pages. A soldier on his knees defusing an IED on the roadside […] A group of boys hiding behind mothers and sisters dressed in niqabs”.
This quote shows that he has been in a warzone in an Arabic country.

The short story takes place in their house, and follow them through there first days after moving in. The
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He looks at people’s Facebook sites, and thinks about whether or not he believes they are happy. He thinks about people wanting to promote they’re happiness, wedding pictures and they’re everyday feelings.

This type of narrative form narrows the short story’s point of view. We only see the story from the journalist’s perspective on situations, which appear thought the story. We never hear Jenna’s perspective and how she is feeling. Even though we are in his head, he only gives us the information he wants us to have. This means that there are still aspects of his mind, where he keeps us in the dark.

In the end of the short story the narrator stumbles upon an old Asian doll his father bought him when he was a child. The doll is a Japanese wishing daruma doll, and it represents good fortune and strong determination.
The message you can read from the short story is that PTSD is a problem, and can be solves with determination. When you set out to do something, you paint in one of the eyes, and when you have reached your goal, you paint in the other eye. The narrator’s daruma doll has one eye painted in, but he cannot remember his goal, so he makes a new one.


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