"Patriots" by Patrick Dacey is an incredibly detailed snapshot of the relationship of two women who have been neighbors for years. Each woman struggles with her own demons, and Dacey tells the story with humor while exploring the sorrow of both characters. The writing is incredibly tight; he is able to explain the history of these two women in just 15 minutes.
Dacey also delves into the symbolism of the ribbons people stick on their cars, details one of the funniest arguments I've ever read, and has many great lines, such as this one the main character says after describing how her husband left her: "I'll tell you this, if my husband was shot dead more people would've come over and said how sorry they were."
"Patriots" is the second installment of BOMB magazine's Fiction for Driving Across America series. Listen to it here. While I enjoyed his reading, it did throw me a little bit initially when I heard a male reading the part and realized a full minute or two into the story that the narrator was actually female. Either way, it's a great way to spend fifteen minutes.
For more information:
Listen to the first installment of Fiction for Driving Across America