Our new issue, “The Imaging Center” by Erin McGraw, is a meditation on marriage and love, set in the world of medical-technicians, where people spend more time looking at CT scans and MRIs than examining their own hearts. Contributing Editor Will Allison brought this wonderful story on board, and so I’m turning the introduction reins over to him this month. Enjoy! -HT
This summer, I went down to South Carolina for my (gulp) twenty-fifth high school reunion. I was looking forward to seeing old classmates, but I admit I was relieved when one of them—let’s call her Dee Dee—didn’t show.
In ninth and tenth grade, I had a major crush on Dee Dee. You know the kind I’m talking about: I inhaled the air when she walked by. I saved her bubblegum wrappers as keepsakes. I aspired to be behind her in line at the water fountain, so that I might put my lips where hers had been. Twenty-five years later, I cringed at the prospect of seeing Dee Dee again and having to wonder if she remembered what a hopeless goob I’d been.
If you’ve ever had an embarrassing crush or two (and who hasn’t?) the story in our latest issue, Erin McGraw’s “The Imaging Center,” will leave you feeling grateful that your lovesick puppy days are a thing of the past.
At the beginning of the story, the main character, Pete Wender, is felled by a powerful crush. Problem is, Pete isn’t in high school; he’s married and middle-aged, with a career. What’s worse, his crush blossoms at a company picnic, in full view of his co-workers. Margaritas and dirty dancing are involved. It’s not pretty—and things only get uglier as the story goes on to explore, with sharp insight and crackling humor, what can happen when two grown-ups start acting like teenagers.
To read more about “The Imaging Center”—including McGraw’s thoughts on middle-aged crushes—please check out our Q&A with the author.