…because it always seems, in the end, that writing is such a desolate, lonely profession and it never gets less lonely. In fact, as I sit here a few days before turning 50, it feels so lonely that I wonder if I can visit the place of writing any more – which, in a backward way, tells me that’s exactly why I should go forward. The things worth writing about, and the things worth reading about, are the things that feel almost beyond description at the start and are, because of that, frightening.
What kind of project?”
I decide to tell her. She seems like she can handle it.
“I believe we are all being sucked into a barely detectable cavity. A very slippery sort of crater. And once we realize we are down there, it will be too late.”
“Can’t we climb out?”
“Our hands and feet don’t have that kind of traction, and our hearts and minds will be too sad to believe in hopeful things, like getting out.”
“We’ll be like one of those gangly millipedes who find themselves drowning in a toilet bowl?” she says.
“Except less panicky. If the millipede can be lethargic and defeated, then yes.
Anyway, I guess I was staring up at the skylight - I must have been doing it for a long time - and remember, I’m happy, I really am, I’m having a good day up to this point - and the little thing ringing me up, she all of a sudden stops what she’s doing, and she takes hold of my arm, and she says, “Ma’am, are you all right? Do you need me to call someone?”
Some of us had been threatening our friend Colby for a long time, because of the way he had been behaving. And now he’d gone too far, so we decided to hang him
We snails have a saying: ‘Love thy neighbor, because he who is far away will remain so.’
I want, for instance, to be a different person. I want to be the woman who brings these two books back in two weeks. I want to be the effective citizen who changes the school system and addresses the Board of Estimate on the troubles of this dear urban center.
Listen to me. I’m just a baker. I don’t claim to be anything else. Maybe once, maybe years ago, I was a different kind of human being. I’ve forgotten, I don’t know for sure. But I’m not any longer, if I ever was. Now I’m just a baker. That don’t excuse my doing what I did, I know.
For example, I didn’t know that she thought I was a bad kisser:
“Your kisses are unpleasantly moist,” she says. “Has anyone ever told you that?”
“Actually, no,” I say. “I’ve always gotten compliments on my kisses.”
“Well,” she says. “Women very rarely tell the truth.”
I smile at her. “You’re lying,” I say, cleverly. But she doesn’t seem to catch the interesting paradox. She looks at me blankly and downs the last bit of wine in her glass.
«Ha! Ha! Forgive me. I must laugh now.»
And she flung herself upon a polar-bear skin in a paroxysm of giant mirth.
Utterly crushed, I went out to do myself in. Racking my brain for the most expressive method, I suddenly remembered a man called Harringay, a taxidermist who was often at her cocktail parties, where he had eyed me with a friendly interest.
I went to his shop. He was there alone.
«Harringay! Stuff me!»
«Sure. What shall it be? Steak? Chop suey? Something fancy?»
«No, Harringay, bitumen. Harringay, I want you to employ your art upon me. Send me to Miss Bjornstjorm with my compliments. For her collection. I love her.»
The Best of Everything.
read by the author Richard Yates.
Cole Porter wanted to control what was happening, including that admiration and love, but when he looked up after the last refrain he saw that the young man was gone. In the midst of all the laughing and the clinking of glasses, behind the facade of perfection, something was not quite right. There would be other young men, he knew that, and more or less he accepted it. But not really. Which is why he went horse-back riding.
Sales guy for a narrative experiential lifestyle product, narrator. Just titles, really. My job is to sell this story to you. To make it yours. To make you believe. To make you feel something again. Isn’t that what you wanted?
They couldn’t stop expressing surprise and joy at the revelations; the discovery of shared misery was as thrilling, in its way, as the discovery of mutual love. Terence said he wanted to take early retirement and drive a motorcycle to Central America. What a cliche, Kathleen thought, then realized that his behavior no longer implicated her, that she didn’t need to be concerned. And she told him it sounded like a great idea.
Having penetrated a man’s personal space,
immediately seek out his Sweet Spot.
The Sweet Spot is where he empties his
pockets at the end of the day and stores
the essentials he needs to begin the next.
The Sweet Spot of a secretive, catlike man
will most often be inside a cupboard or a
When you find it, consider using a Data
Surge to capture the contents of his
A Data Surge must be deployed with
extreme caution, and only if you feel
confident of an exceptional yield.
The quantity of information captured will
require an enormous amount of manpower
to tease apart.
Its transmission will register on any
We can guarantee its effectiveness
She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.