What Was Mine: Stories
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A collection of short fiction, twelve works in all, including two never-before-published novellas. Here are disconnected marriages and uneasy reunions, nostalgic reminiscences and sudden epiphanies--a remarkable and moving collage of contemporary lives.
Washington was reserved for cars carrying at least three passengers: people around here started buying inflatable dolls and sitting them in the car. They put hats and coats on them. “Mary Virushi and her husband are having a trial separation, but she’s coming to the party with him anyway,” my wife says from the doorway. “Why’d you have to tell me that?” I say, turning away from the sunset and coming back into the house. “It’ll just make me feel uncomfortable around them.” “Oh, you’ll survive,”
leave the tip,” Atley said. The waiter, who seemed always to be around our table, heard the word “tip” and looked surprised again. Billy picked up on this and smiled at him. “We’re not going anywhere,” he said. It was surprising how fast we ate, though, and in a little while, since none of us wanted coffee, the waiter was back with the bill. It was in one of those folders—a leather book, with the restaurant’s initials embossed on the front. It reminded me of my Aunt Jean’s trivet collection,
the seventeenth anniversary of the opening of the library. Her grandmother’s next-door neighbor had taught her how to spot the constellations. “You collect cookbooks,” Chap said suddenly. “Isn’t that what you always look for in airport bookshops?” They were on the Brunettis’ screened porch. It seemed quite large, but she could not put her finger on the light switch. As her eyes focused a little better in the dark, she went toward a cord dangling from a ceiling light. She pulled it and a breeze
Someone laughed uproariously on a quiz show. The sound of a buzzer obliterated more gunfire. “What’s your favorite pie?” Mrs. Brikel said. She had turned. He followed her into the kitchen. There was a wooden crucifix on the wood panel separating the windows over the sink. There were two rag rugs on the floor. A little fan circulated air. “All the screens are out being repaired,” Mrs. Brikel said. “I sure wouldn’t open the windows with these mosquitoes.” In the kitchen, the aroma was strong.
said. “Whatever Pia would talk about,” he said. A little color was coming back to his face. There was a white smear over the bee bite. So far, it hadn’t swollen. She sat on the floor, her hand resting on his knee. “Does it feel at all better?” she said. “I can’t tell,” he said. He briefly touched her hand, then clapped his over the bite again. “I don’t know what she’d talk about,” Fran said. “She’d say that Anthony wants a new robot. Or she’d tell him about some paper Anthony got a good grade