Are You Lonesome Tonight? by Mishka Shubaly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read one version this essay a while ago, one night when I was up due to insomnia and trawling Facebook to see what old friends and acquaintances were up to (Mishka's a former classmate). On first read, it's a textbook example of how to control the flow of information and keep the reader right where you want them, to have them believe they know the story and then turn that belief on its ear in the space of a few words.
When it went up on Amazon I bought it, because it still stood out in my memory, and on second read, I was able to appreciate the ironic humor, the unlikely optimism, the statements so true that they're both hilarious and depressing (such as that love would make a pretty terrible drug. Drugs are more reliable and much, much easier to come by.) It's a talented individual who can take random life events and spin a coherent and compelling narrative, and a rare one who can find humor when life is anything but funny.
I should note, for anyone who read the previous version, this one is not the same. It's revised and longer, and tells much more about what came after the end of the relationship.