300 short stories:: story 215

story: “Taking Care”

author: Joy Williams

year: 1972

where: NYUAD Library

note: POV is so interesting in this story; I like how Williams keeps us locked onto the character Jonas, but then flies over to his daughter in Mexico or into the future.

a line: “She is going to Mexico, where soon, in the mountains, she will have a nervous breakdown. Jones does not know this, but his daughter has seen it in the stars and is going out to meet it.’”

theme(s): Afterlife, Anagogy, Family

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300 short stories:: story 211 & 212 & 213

story: “The Lonesome Bodybuilder” & “Q&A” & “Fitting Room”

author: Yukiko Motoya

year: 2018 (English translation)

where: Around Hiroshima

note:  “The Lonesome Bodybuilder” had a very different ending than I had expected, but “Fitting Room” was probably the most strange and enjoyable of the three, though they all have their own level of discomfort, of being a bit off-kilter.

a line: “I stood up and went to the window, and nervously struck a pose at him. Both arms up and bent by my head, chest out, emphasizing my V-taper. My husband looked incredulous as I posed in my bikini.’”

theme(s): loss of identity, lack of intimacy

300 short stories:: story 193-198

story: “New York Mining Disaster”, “Airplane: Or, How He Talked to Himself as If Reciting Poetry”, “A Perfect Day for Kangaroos”, “The Ice Man”, “The Rise and Fall of Sharpie Cakes”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006 (from Blind Willow, Sleeping Willow)

where: everywhere!

note: a batch of stories (I’m behind on my chronicling)

a line: “’Even after I’d lost almost all sensation, I still knew this: The husband here at the South Pole is not the husband I used to know. I couldn’t say how he’d changed, exactly, for he still was always thoughtful, always had kind words for me.’”

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.”