I picked up Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak by Writers Famous & Obscure, edited by Smith Magazine, from the library the other day. The introduction states “When Ernest Hemingway famously wrote ‘For Sale: baby shoes, never worn,’ he proved that an entire story can be told using a half dozen words.”
There really is something to be said about brevity and simplicity. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes verbose prose, rich in detail and character can be absolutely absorbing and wonderful. However, sometimes the short story (ones written by Tennessee Williams, which I absolutely admire, come to mind) can be the perfect simple sketch that haunts you long after the initial reading, challenging your imagination to extend the story both at the beginning and the end to see some complete picture; to zoom out of the little slice of life and put more context around the characters and the situation. Other times, short stories, or in this case the six-word memoirs, can be their own little perfect self-contained packages that, considering their size, can make a big impression.
Here are some of my favorite six-word memoirs on love and heartbreak from this collection.
“Silently suffered his facial hair experiments.” – Elizabeth Minkel
“My mother warned me about you.” – Angie Brown
“He impregnated her instead. Bullet dodged.” – Judith Edelman
“Only once. It was a doozy.” – Marc Mondfrans
“Overly romantic soul, born wrong era.” –Elisa Shevitz
“I should have seen him coming.” – Kelly Bruce
“I kicked Romeo’s ass. The end.” – Lee Payne
“My least favorite word is platonic.” – Nicole Bohn
“Irish guys are easy. Crabs suck.” – Alexa Joy Sherman
“I’m too old for this shit.” – Abby Ellin
“He would have been my forever.” – Tina Blanchard
“It happened in a graceless kiss.” – Caroline Sun
“Romantic comedies screwed me for life.” – Daniela Medina