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The Short Form

“The Apology”

Brock Clarke


This was not the first Dave and Wyatt had demanded an apology. Dave had demanded an apology from his bank for sandbagging him with hidden withdrawal fees. Wyatt had demanded an apology from his children's teachers for making assumptions about how much time Wyatt did or did not spend with his sons going over their homework after school. Dave and Wyatt had both demanded apologies from Lance Paper Company for transferring them from jobs in Utica, New York, and Worcester, Massachusetts, respectively, to Clemson, South Carolina without giving them a real say in the matter, and then they demanded an apology from their new bosses in South Carolina for laying them off not even six months after they'd uprooted themselves and their families. When Dave and Wyatt were done demanding their apologies, they had apologized to their wives for not getting the apologies they felt they deserved, or for getting the apologies and then being disappointed that those apologies didn't make the sun any brighter or the grass any greener or their lives any happier.

We read it in Carrying the Torch.

Originally published in New England Review Vol. 24 No. 3.