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.”

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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 141

story: How Can I help? 

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2016

where: kitchen table in front of half-finished buildings and an artificial billabong

note: In an unrelated New York Times article, the journalist writes on Galchen, “A while back, the writer Rivka Galchen, visiting a writing seminar of mine, was asked by a student why she made the main character of her novel ‘Atmospheric Disturbances’ a man. She replied that if her emotionally remote and highly cerebral narrator were a woman, that narrator would be called unlikable at best, unbelievable at worst. ”

a line: “Maybe if I could actually be nice to my sister, in my heart, I wouldn’t have to be so nice to her in the pastures and parking lots of our real world.”