Listen & Other Stories
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Listen is a book where characters ask readers to do just that: listen to their stories, especially because many aren’t the type of people who often get listened to—even though they should. These characters’ trials, missed connections, and sundry challenges are full of surprises—some good, some bad, some funny, some wise, and some all this at once. Perhaps most surprising of all, there’s tenderness here and a lot of heart—which often gets the collection’s characters into a lot of trouble.
UNLOCK THE MAUSOLEUM SHORTLY. Surely. Julia knew this. Matthias had said this and Julia had believed him, because what was the other option? That she’d spend the rest of her time in Berlin—the rest of her life?—underground in Treptower Park with five thousand dead Soviet soldiers? Not likely. She watched Matthias, the tour guide, recheck the door that had closed on them and locked. Like a bad movie, this, or a good one, actually, because other than the self-locking door, there were plenty of
always predetermined, that for every prop there is a punch line. “When you say Wisconsin, you’ve said it all.” That was the line. Martin’s line. The state’s. He never wore the hat, but always sang these words; he went to school at Madison, and apparently this was some sort of fight song. He loved football. He loved cheesy. Needless to say, he stood out in Los Angeles. So did I. I was pale, liked suits, majored in business in college, and was in business until I met Martin. Brandy did not stand
and fly off. The boy would be left to vanish into memory—or return to the folds of my imagination, if, in fact, that is from where he first sprung. I tried not to think of what lay behind this plan—starvation, hypothermia, grizzlies—but the alternatives eventually all led to Geohagan, which would only be worse. No, this was the smartest solution for all concerned—cowardly as it was. The boy had faced certain death in the balloon. My interference would—I suppose the word is upset—the natural
mean, I wasn’t surprised. I had my own reasons, of course, given what had happened at home earlier that year, but I bet all the scouts on that trip half expected something terrible and bloody would occur. It’s hard to explain, other than to say that whenever we went camping, we somehow fell into this easy, ongoing, matter-of-fact, almost casual relationship with death. We saw dead animals all the time. We killed things (small things, insects) all the time. We went to the Sierras several times a
his head. The jackets we’d balled up weren’t working. I eased myself right alongside Eddie. Mr. Mulroney carefully arranged a towel (mine, full-sized, which Art had teased me for bringing) on my lap and carefully laid Eddie’s head there. All of this seemed to happen without sound, without air. I could feel Art looking at me, at us, looking so hard it felt like he was pushing us, but I couldn’t hear anything, not until Mr. Mulroney straightened up and said, “There.” I studied Eddie. Again, the