300 short stories:: story 168

story: “Wild Berry Blue”

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2014

where: some backseat taxi, some bedroom

note: the strongest, in my opinion, from her American Innovations collection

a line: “He was my first love, my first love in the way that first loves are usually second or third or fourth loves. I still think about a stranger in a green jacket across from me in the waiting room at the DMV. About a blue-eyed man with a singed earlobe that I saw at a Baskin-Robbins with his daughter. My first that kind of love. I never got over him. I never get over anyone. ”

bonus line: “A part of me decides I am taking him back into my heart. Even if no room will be left for anything else.”

Advertisements

300 short stories:: story 167

story: “The Entire Northern Side Was Covered with Fire”

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2014

where: casa e lavoro

note: this story is more an experience than a memory-maker

a line: “The novel was a love story, between a bird and a whale. Why was I already low on money? Partially because money just flies, as they say, or I guess it’s time they say about that, the flying, but money, too. Very winged.”

300 short stories:: story 166

story: “The Lost Order”

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2014

where: casa dolce casa

note: I can’t recall the stimulus for purchasing Galchen’s book, American Innovations, and this makes me sad. I hate forgetting. This story has a ring like Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing”…a ringing call. The main character also feels like a more morose and confused Lorrie Moore character.

a line: “I have not always–had not even long–been a daylight ghost, a layabout, a mal pensant, a vacancy, a housewife, a person foiled by the challenge of getting dressed and someone who considered eating less a valid primary goal.”

300 short stories:: story 164

story: “The Great Wall of China”

author: Kafka

year: published 1931, written 1917

where: outside, nice autumn weather in the Dhabs

note: a story about nation-building, oh brilliant brilliant Kafka

a line: “In this respect of course our own age had a great advantage over that long-past one; almost every educated contemporary was a mason by profession and infallible in the matter of laying foundation. But that was not at all what the scholar was driving at; instead he claimed that the Great Wall alone would create, for the first time in history of mankind, a secure foundation for a new Tower of Babel. ”

300 short stories:: story 163

story: “Now That the Circus Has Shut Down, the Human Cannonball Looks for Work”

author: Meghan Phillips

year: 2018

where: 我的办公室 (again)

note: This short short story has the punch at the end like contemporary English poetry. Maybe it has something to do with its length too; though it would not be mistaken for a prose poem.

a line: “He’s happy to be a reference, but he’s not sure how much weight the words of a clown will carry.”

300 short stories:: story 162

story: “Here Comes the Sun”

author: Yeo Wei Wei

year: 2017

where: 我的办公室

note: Reminds me of Rachel Heng’s “Vegetarian” from Prairie Schooner

a line: “Before the mynah, other birds, insects and small animals visited the room. Butterflies, moths, dragonflies – they flitted in and out, resting on the bright pink curtains or on the rim of the enamel washbasin with its gaily painted flowers.”