SCI FICTION, May 25, 2005

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"The Scribble Mind" by Jeffrey Ford

Image“The Scribble Mind” by Jeffrey Ford is this week’s SCI FICTION Original. It’s the story of a woman obsessed with a pattern and its implications.

Pat is a graduate student studying art. He is just settling in for the semester when he runs into Esme, a girl he knew in high school. She, too, is an art grad student. And, as they know each other, it’s natural that they start seeing each other for breakfast and such—spending time with someone they know to wind down from the week.

Pat discovers a painting that is to be displayed in an upcoming show at the school. Esme knows the painting. It’s a scribble that seems to be a constant, reproducable by people who can remember being in the womb.  Esme becomes obsessed with this scribble and the memory that is associated with it.

Esme hatches a plan to get the scribble artist to reveal to her his memory.  Unfortunately, the artist is a fake with his own agenda regarding those who can “remember.”

“The Scribble Mind” is a story of obsessions; Esme’s obsession with those who can “remember,” and Pat’s obsession with Esme. The story was most accessible to me through Pat’s obsession, as I can envision having such an obsession myself. And it works very well, given that we mostly see Esme’s obsession through Pat’s eyes. Mr. Ford’s story is a compelling read.