Time Marches On

When she first visited Athens, she was surprised—not by the ruins, they were exactly as she had expected them to be, but by the rest of it. For all the quaint charm of the dusty agora and its tumbled columns with flowers growing up in between the cracks and butterflies hovering poetically over them, a ten minutes’ walk in any direction, and you might think for a moment you were on a dingy street in Philadelphia or Detroit.

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Crazy

She read that Nietzsche went insane and clutched the neck of a horse being mercilessly flogged by an irate coach driver. She could never understand why it was Nietzsche and not the coach driver who got hauled off to the asylum.

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Past Tense

She was not the jealous type and never suspected him of infidelity. All the same, she was morbidly curious about his former lovers—what kind of panties they wore, what they looked like, how smart they were, what sexual techniques they had—and couldn’t bear the thought of being inferior to them in any way.

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Consolation

I used to fantasize that Zach would go on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” get made over for me, and ask over the special dinner Ted taught him to make if I can ever forgive him for having been so stupid as to turn me down, he was just scared, et cetera, and now he’s realized his mistake and agonized over it, and will I give him a second chance?

Sometimes I would say no and sometimes yes, but invariably, all the Queer Eye guys gasped while watching the clip when I came on the screen and each exclaimed, “Oh she’s delightful,” then another “delicious,” and another “de-lovely!”

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Advice

She was deep in discussion with the philosophy professor when his wife called. After hanging up the phone with a grimace, he told the student never to get married: “It’s like saying to someone, ‘I love you so much, I want to trap you for the rest of your life!’”

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Second Fiddle

Everyone thought she refused to date him because she was “afraid of ruining the friendship.” But back when they barely knew each other, she had watched him throw himself at another girl; and she hated the thought of taking somebody’s leftovers or of being Plan B.

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