>I subscribe to Zoetrope: All Story, and the latest issue arrived recently. I was busy and set it aside on my desk to look at later. Taking a break this morning, I thumbed through it and was shocked to see the title of the Sam Shepard story: “Thor’s Day (Highway 81 North, Staunton, Virginia).”
I live in Staunton, Virginia, not far from Interstate 81. (This story may now join William Henry Lewis’s story “I Got Somebody in Staunton” as the only pieces of literature naming our town in the title.)
The story is all dialogue, which is unusual, of course. And it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Staunton. The couple arguing in the story have been driving for a long time and seem to have stopped to eat lunch. They talk about an incident from three days earlier at the Cracker Barrel in Denton (I wonder if they’re in the Cracker Barrel just off 81 in Staunton?) and the fact that blueberry pancakes seem to make one of them cry. She (he?) can’t explain this. While they’re waiting for the waitress, they argue. Then the waitress comes. The end.
Okay, I didn’t say it was a great story. But I do like the title.