Friday, October 13, 2023

the last book I ever read (Self-Help: Stories by Lorrie Moore, excerpt four)

from Self-Help: Stories by Lorrie Moore:

Make attempts at a less restrictive arrangement. Watch them sputter and deflate like balloons. He will ask you to move in. Do so hesitantly, with ambivalence. Clarify: rents are high, nothing long-range, love and all that, hon, but it’s footloose. Lay out the rules with much elocution. Stress openness, non-exclusivity. Make room in his closet, but don’t rearrange the furniture.

And yet from time to time you will gaze at his face or his hands and want nothing but him. You will feel passing waves of dependency, devotion, and sentimentality. A week, a month, a year, and he has become your family. Let’s say your real mother is a witch. Your father a warlock. Your brothers twin hunchbacks of Notre Dame. They all live in a cave together somewhere.

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