Despite being set in the present day in a small town in upstate South Carolina, “Could You But Find It” , in a larger sense, begins in 1942 in North Africa, when a GI named Dawson gets separated from his unit. As he tries to get back, he finds something he wasn’t expecting, something that points toward everything he thought he knew about the world and said, “No, it isn’t like that at all.” He had a choice: pretend he hadn’t seen it, or spend the rest of his life trying to understand it. The ripples from the choice he made would, over the next two generations, spread as far as the other side of the world, and maybe, just maybe, even farther than that.
This story is, however, only partly about Private Dawson. At another level, this is the story of a present-day 18-year-old boy’s freshman year in college. And on a much deeper level, this is a story about what happens when you stare into Nietzsche’s abyss, and the abyss does more than just stare back at you. Whether there are even more levels than that is for the reader to determine.
Life is improvisational theater. You’re given a name and a situation, but where the scene goes after that is up to you and the other players. The other players in this story represent every hue of the moral spectrum, from saint to sociopath, but each of them has a part to play. The props for this play include bells and pillows and bayberry candles, bullets and fireworks and plaid flannel shirts. Come on in, find your seat, and let’s cue the curtain. You’re going to enjoy this.