story: The Lives of Rocks
author: Rick Bass
where: Zanzibar, overlooking the Indian ocean and drinking Coke Light from a glass bottle
note: This story masters a feeling of loneliness so profoundly as to kill it simultaneously, and connect us deeply with the sensitive and intelligent protagonist, unwell yet alive in her snowy mountain house, calling out for the–her–children in the valley. It is difficult to pick one quote. This story says so much about the persistent fight of hope and hopelessness present when you write–and live.
a line: “She continued to send messages, stories, and drawings, as well as gems and crystals and fossils–sending several out in the same day, staggered over different departure times–and in some of her drawings, as her loneliness grew, she would make little watercolor sketches of the three of them sitting around a table loaded with food, as they had at Thanksgiving, with gleaming candelabra casting a shining light upon a roast turkey, a wild goose, and all other manner of game upon their plates; and in the tiny rolled-up paintings there would be wreaths hanging on the walls, images indicating the future, Christmas, rather than the past, Thanksgiving.”