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Oddly Normal

Magazine Review by Katy Haas.

Visiting trampset‘s website, I had a problem. A good problem. I suddenly had five tabs of fiction open the moment I got there, unable to decide where to start. I wanted to read everything! I blew through the short fiction, enjoying each one, especially Kyle Seibel’s “The Two Women.”

This story is told as if the narrator is writing a letter to their ex-partner, Liz. There is an urgency to connect with Liz and get down the details of a strange day, a fever dream of a day with odd details that also somehow seem incredibly real in their zaniness. The narrator is approached by two women, one offering help and one asking for help. These women and the narrator’s neighbor all appear as odd characters, and the story is told with a humorous voice, but is still filled with heart. The silliness gives the narrator a realization: “[ . . . ] my brain is buzzing because I’m starting to feel like the rest of my life, the life I’m living without you, will be a series of events that make less and less sense until I will be completely untethered from the planet.” With this, the strangeness becomes normal—who hasn’t felt lost and untethered after a big loss?

There is no shortage of good reads at trampset, but if you’re unsure of where to start, give “The Two Women” a try.

The Two Women” by Kyle Seibel. trampset, June 2021.

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