Throughout The Awful Possibilities, TeBordo plays with subtle time and point of view shifts that bring out a surprising depth to what could be, at first glance, sensationalistic or exploitative themes. Some of his stories exist amid a landscape where even the smallest action has a reaction. Where tables are turned, where prisoners become keepers, where memories are real, imagined, or continuously reconditioned into new realities.
In “Moldering,” a man thinks and speaks like he’s living in the 1940s. His wife tells him to go out and get a new wallet, as his old one is moldering away in his pocket. The man heads out into the night, sure in his quest to look for his friend, the wallet maker. By the time he finds his friend, it’s clear that the wallet maker is no maker of leather items and is instead a drug dealer who lives in contemporary America. They are not actually friends, but acquaintances who knew each other back in high school. The man eventually gets his wallet, and a matching handbag for his wife. But how and why I’ll leave for the discerning reading to discover.