BULLshot: McKenzie Hightower

BULLshot: McKenzie Hightower

JP: Killing dying cows and burning things seem to be somewhat cathartic for the dad-and-son team in this story. What does that say about human nature?

McKenzie Hightower: At first glance, these two events could certainly point to an innate need for violence that is wound up within our nature, but I see it quite differently within “Una Vida”. The killing of the cows and the burning of the bible are primarily cathartic—the releasing of pain that can only be verbalized through action—but it goes deeper than that. This circular path of destruction, emphasized by the mirroring of the scenes with the dying heifers, symbolizes the bleak reality at the heart of Farfield— that life is a dark repetitive journey, one that is only punctured by sparks of happiness that bind us to what little we already have even tighter. This truth makes each of these scenes instances of naked self-awareness that are, ultimately, some of the most painful moments within the narrative as well.


About the Author

Josh Peterson has published short stories in over a dozen literary journals. Over the years, he's found work as an environmental writer, a medical writer, a comedy writer and a new-media journalist. He's currently working on a novel.