Of all the pieces in Measuring Time & Other Stories (out this fall from Wiseblood Books), this is the only story not set in the Midwest. Rather, it is set in Portland, Oregon, where my wife and I lived for three years. This is also the story in the collection that most explicitly involves religious faith, and the lack thereof.
The story takes its title from the Yes classic, “Roundabout,” a song that has stuck with me ever since my freshman year of high school when I bought a cassette of Fragile. In the opening scene, two characters–college freshmen–are having a disagreement over the song. The main character is Timothy Ford, also the protagonist in the story “Wildlife.”
Other than the title work, “Measuring Time,” this is the oldest story in the book, originally drafted when my wife and I lived in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-2000s. During this period, I discovered Ann Beattie, Lorrie Moore, and Louise Erdrich, great writers all, and especially great writers of the humorous. The stories I was drafting incorporated more humor than in my prior stories.