300 short stories: story 281

story: “No Place for Good People”

author: Ottessa Moshfegh

year: 2016

where: Dubai Metro

note: I love the juxtaposition posed between the restaurant Friendly’s and Hooter’s. I do think the entire last paragraph of the story should have been cut.

a line:  “Paul pushed himself up and scooted out from the booth and stood next to her, staring down at the flame, and she sang to him in Spanish, softly, beautifully, glancing bashfully up into his small, swollen eyes.”

theme(s): Disability, spousal death, love, sex


300 short stories: story 280

story: “The Locker Room”

author: Ottessa Moshfegh

year: 2016

where: Somewhere in Dubai

note: The ending is a stunner.

a line:  “But I never did try very hard to please my mother. In fact, I never tried hard to please anybody at all after that day in the locked room. Now I only try hard to please myself. That is all that matters here. That is the secret thing I found.”

theme(s): Young love, individuality, angst, mothers and daughters

300 short stories: story 279

story: “An Honest Woman”

author: Ottessa Moshfegh

year: 2016

where: Parker’s, post-Flywheel

note: I love how Moshfegh always uses cats as a way for her characters to describe people. Her different characters in different stories all have their own connotations with cats and humans and gender roles.

a line:  “’Are you southern?’ the girl asked, ignoring his invitation. She looked snooty. She looked distrustful.”

theme(s): Skin condition, romance, men and women, deception

300 short stories: story 278

story: “Mr. Wu”

author: Ottessa Moshfegh

year: 2016

where: Yamanote Atelier, Dubai

note: An earlier version of this story is on The Paris Review and is called “Disgust”…I’m glad I read it with its revised title, because the original title is too leading.

a line:  “More than anything in the world, perhaps more than winning her heart, he did not want to appear awkward.”

theme(s): Attractive, middle-age, love, prostitution,

300 short stories: story 277

story: “Bettering Myself”

author: Ottessa Moshfegh

year: 2013

where: Al Reem summer, had me a blast!

note: I just ordered myself two large Coke Zeros (delivery) after rereading this ending.

a line:  “The waitress went away and my ex got up to use the men’s room, and when he got back he asked me to stop calling him.”

theme(s): Addiction, depression, inappropriate relationships