My next recommendation

by hillarymay

You know, if I could read all the time, I would. Usually I am too busy, inevitably distracted, concerned with daily tasks. But tonight, I stopped and I read. I stumbled upon a  fiction piece in the New Yorker, written by Jonathan Safran Foer. I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something in this piece that moves me. Thus, I am providing you with an excerpt. Happy reading.

Here We Aren’t, So Quickly

“I was always never complaining, because confrontation was death to me, and because everything was pretty much O.K. with me. You were not able to approach the ocean at night. I didn’t know where my voice was between my phone and yours. You were never standing by the window at parties, but you were always by the window. I was so paranoid with kind words. You were just making a heroic effort to make things look easy. I was terrible about acknowledging anyone else’s efforts. You were not green-thumbed, but you were not content to be not content. I was always in need of just one good dress shirt, or just one something that I never had. You were too injured by things that happened in the distant past for anything to be effortless in the present.

You were always copying keys and looking up words. I was not afraid of quiet; I just hated it. So my hand was always in my pocket, around a phone I never answered. You were not cheap or handy with tools, just hurt by my distance. I was never indifferent to the children of strangers, just frustrated by my own unrelenting optimism. You were not surprised when I took you to Norfolk, I drove you to Tobey Pond, led you by the hand down the slope of brambles and across the rotting planks to the constellations in the water. Sharing our happiness diminished your happiness.

…I changed and changed, and with more time I will change some more. I’m not disappointed, just quiet. Not unthinking, just reckless. Not willfully unclear, just trying to say it as it wasn’t. The more I remember, the more distant I feel. We reached the middle so quickly. After everything it’s like nothing. I have always never been here. What a shame it wasn’t easy. What a waste of what? What a joke. But come. No explaining or mending. Be beside me somewhere: on the split stools of this bar, by the edge of a cliff, in the seats of this borrowed car, at the prow of this ship, on the all forgiving cushions of the thread-bare sofa in this one-story copper-crying-fixer-upper whose windows we once squinted through for hours before coming to our senses: “What would we even do with such a house?”

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