Save as Many as You Ruin

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Save as many as you ruin
Sometimes one’s life is not what it was expected to be. Sometimes one makes the right choices, sometimes the wrong choices. At the end of the day, everyone just wants their lives to make sense and to leave one’s stamp on the world. “Save as many as you ruin” is a short story written by Simon Van Booy. The main character Gerard, philosophizes about these existential questions throughout the short story, in his search for the meaning of his existence. Gerard is a handsome man, probably in his thirties or forties, and is the father of eight-year-old Lucy. We are not informed of his profession, but know that they live in Manhattan. Through flashbacks and his thoughts, we get the understanding that Gerard is missing something in his life: “He has slept with many women. Most knew he would never love them (…) Gerard loved one woman once, but not Lucy’s mother” (l. 34-36). We are slowly drawn into Gerard’s promiscuous past, and experience how he was torn between the woman he loved, and the mother of his child. Gerard had been going out with Laurel for a month when he met Issy. “Gerard vaguely remembers the feeling of being in love with Laurel, and the desire to have sex with Issy.” (l.123-124). When Issy told Gerard she was pregnant with his child he moved in with her, and after he had told Laurel about the affair and the pregnancy, she broke off in an e-mail. It shows that Gerard made the wrong choice. Shortly after Lucy’s birth, Issy moved to Los Angeles to become an actress. Four years later she died, perhaps by suicide. His sexual instinct caused him to miss out on Laurel, the love of his life, but Gerard got something out of it – his beautiful daughter Lucy, whom he loves very much: “Gerard feels stabbing love for his daughter” (l.18). But the absent woman is not the only thing missing in his life. He is looking for something much more complex and existential – meaning and purpose: “Gerard thinks of his own footprints and how soon they...
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