All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews:
I picked up the book lying next to me on the bed and flipped through it. Hey, listen to this, I said. Have you heard of this Portuguese guy called Fernando Pessoa?
Is he with the Jays?
No, he’s a poet, this is his book, but he’s dead now. He killed himself.
Oh brother, she said. Who hasn’t.
But listen to this: “In the plausible intimacy of approaching evening, as I stand waiting for the stars to begin at the window of this fourth floor room that looks out on the infinite, my dreams move to the rhythm required by long journeys to countries as yet unknown, or to countries that are simply hypothetical or impossible.”
My mother said yup, that’s about the long and short of it, isn’t it?