number of which may be selected for publication, in any
Just as I was finally enjoying sex with my husband,
the bastard deserted me.
Around his fortieth birthday,
when he realized a full biography would be written about him, he
began to preserve certain documents, while destroying many
others, preferring that such a book be more innocent than
The most recurring figure in her fiction is
her bossy mother, sometimes disguised as a man.
she was calling her dog, but out of the forest came a man who
It is a place where the shit hits you every
morning, just as you wake up.
I've always been distrustful
of people whose personalities change once they come into
professional power or success, who think that their new
importance grants them exemption from human niceties.
coming to dinner parties alone, I make myself vulnerable to every
husband's paranoid fantasies about good-looking lesbians.
invented a machine, a kind of thermometer, that he thought could
measure not the quantity but the quality of affection he felt for
each woman in his life.
Looking at his pudginess now, you
could hardly believe that only ten years ago the professor was a
Only if she lived apart from her
husband could she keep her vices secret.
critical talent, upon which she based her university career, was
the superior understanding of inferior texts.
Some of his
writing was aimed at peers he knew; most was written for an
audience neither he, his colleagues, nor his editors wished to
At least once a day I had to tell someone, anyone,
that my new boss, notorious though he had been, was far more
likeable than expected.
He was continually throwing things
out; he knew there would never be any need for 99 percent of the
junk that came his way.
Her psychiatrist told her that she
could best sustain her marriage by making herself permanently
unavailable to her husband.
Into her consciousness her
parents injected high expectations that, try as hard as she
might, would never be fulfilled.
He had a complicated
domestic life, with his wife in one city, his favorite mistress
in another and his young children in a third.
help from the men she befriended, she advanced rapidly in the
bureaucracy and earned the envy of other women.
stopped to pick up my mail, I was offered a big box, almost too
heavy to carry, whose return address and thus the name of its
sender were unfamiliar to me.
He was such a flagrant
philanderer you wondered why his wife didn't leave him.
her diet required that she abstain from the evening meal, tonight
she made an exception that was noticed by one and all.
knows that none of us had ever before met anyone quite so tall;
his height would distract us from knowing him well or discovering
the real reason for his befriending us.
As the country's
most famous artist entered the Queen's chamber, all eyes turned
to her bare feet.
He differed from the other men courting
her in having an intriguing reputation for erotic research
ignored by everyone else.
Alone on the road, I was feeling
so depressed I changed a ten-dollar bill into a stack of quarters
that I hysterically stuffed into pay telephones.
heard that the residents of a neighboring town belonged to
another "tribe," she was surprised to discover that
they were human beings just like her.
While her suspicions
about there being another woman in my life were essentially
correct, most of her hunches about who and how and when were all
He wouldn't let you into her house unless he
thought you'd accept his claim that the large bottles of water in
his living room came, as he said, from a fountain of youth.
all true stories, this begins in the middle.
unforeseen, it took me more than eighty days to go around the
world without ever leaving the earth, which is to say resorting
to an airplane.
They were a bunch of professors who, while
each had good taste as individuals, could be trusted to be
Half the numbers on my long distance
telephone bill were to places unfamiliar to me; and since I lived
alone, I wondered how they got there.
Some of the art he
inherited could be sold; most could only be given away.
though all of the successes anyone could have came his way, he
still regarded himself as a struggling young author who needed
everyone's help to survive.
He sought older women who
would be less surprised by his odd sexual tastes.
father's home movies he saw a person he could not connect to
himself--a young man who was normal in all visible
What I want most of all in a wife is someone who
remembers everything I forget.
He had more successes than
anyone else he knew and more failures as well and so wondered
whether the gnawing dialectic would ever be resolved.
was the first time I ever loved a woman taller than I--two inches
she said, five inches I felt--and it had more psychological
effects upon me than I instantly knew.
Once out of
solitary confinement, he sat down at a typewriter and wrote out
of his own head the poem he had committed to memory, a poem that
a century later every child now learns in school.
couldn't understand is how she happened to fall in love with
someone who was neither intelligent nor good-looking.
didn't know how he spent each day, but you were sure that
whatever he did would eventually land both him and his wife in
Since my wife had hired several burly bodyguards, I
figured that I as her estranged husband needed a few as
What should I think, and what should I do, about the
piece of fruit that is being offered to me?
This was not a
neighborhood through which you walked to get to someplace else;
you wanted something to happen while you were there.
feared that every success that came his way would only make the
shitheads controlling his fate ever more envious.
met her half way up the mountain and, even though she turned
back, held no prejudice against her when they happened to meet
Eschewing all underwear, she also flaunted skirts
favored by women half her age.
She'd not only bought the
Brooklyn Bridge; she had visionary plans for developing the
surrounding real estate.
I can't spend the night with you,
dear love; I have a job interview in the morning.
would be required, pray tell, for you to give me, an unknown
actor, top billing?
Wouldn't you know that he'd think me,
an invalid, the man who stole his wife.
As the personal
assistant to such a famous man, I get to witness a lot of
Don't you want to let me make you feel
like someone who has just discovered America?
sleep with my employees; the mere thought of exploiting people
over whom I have power is disquieting.
He had sufficient
discretionary power to change his loyalties with the
Which would you prefer, if given the choice--a
doctor who has had your disease or one who hadn't.
called her his "steeplechase lover," so adept was she
at leaping over obstacles.
The advantage of having no
scruples at the beginning is that you can adopt whichever ones
suit your needs.
Since the enemy's spies had infiltrated
the government of a neighboring country, there was reason to
believe them present in ours as well.
What he saw on the
television screen, talking back to him in live time, was his own
face ten years later.
What he needed to know before he
would make their divorce final was which of his wife's children
were his and which were fathered by another man.
surprise it was to discover that older women were better in bed;
they knew how to take care not only for you but themselves.
liked boxing as a sport very much like writing--for failures you
had no one to blame but yourself.
What must a lady do to
get such rich lingerieâ€”pay or play?
though he screwed up every estate his colleagues bestowed on him,
my lawyer got another opportunity from his favorite
"Don't you enjoy," I said, thinking you
desire whatever you can imagine deserving yourself.
rain was beating on the roof until I opened the door to go
outside and discovered that it had abruptly stopped.
I got divorced and returned to living with my parents I became
the obnoxious spoiled child they hadn't known before.
I changed my name to something more pronounceable, I made many
Though we looked like twins, my sister and I
were born 10 months apart.
With breasts so naturally large
I'm continually looking for clothes that would reveal they aren't
Because the university accepting me was pleased to
advertise my attendance there (and nowhere else), my teachers
were instructed to make my classes easy for me and indeed nearly
all of them did..