There are certain experiences in life you might not be able to recover from. Maybe you have witnessed some terrible things or been a victim of something frightful that has left scars on you. These experiences can lead to mental illnesses such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). The narrator Miguel Syjuco is struggling with this, in his short story “Be Here Now” from 2012. We are not told directly what his job was or where he has been, we just know he has been in a place with war. Some information hints that he was a press photographer.
The entire story takes place in the narrator’s new house where he lives with his fiancé, Jenna. He has a hard time adjusting to the new surroundings. Even though Jenna is trying her best to make him feel at home, it becomes clear that the main character is having a hard time settling in. “I know I won’t be able to sleep. I know by experience that it takes at least a week to negotiate the limbo between this world and the one I’ve left behind. Usually, as now, I say it’s jet lag. Every day we fool ourselves, though some of us are more deserving of illusions.” (p. 3, ll. 64-67)