Wishful Thinking

She knew the man who broke her heart would be at her best friend’s wedding, and she wished to God she could show up with a fabulous Romanian fiancé of obscure royal descent who would give her ex the evil eye and dance too close to her at the reception. An unfortunate booking accident at the local hotel would have them staying next door to each other, and the ex would toss and turn for several miserable hours trying to ignore the animal screams of ecstasy audible through the paper-thin walls.

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Separate

Two of the art professors were married and could each (but never both of them together) be found at all hours of the day and night working in the studio on their own projects. The students could never decide if their marriage was really enviable, really unhealthy, or perhaps both.

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The Blow

Sometime in elementary school, as she was walking up a short flight of stairs, she realized that even if she began in that moment, she could not finish reading all of the books in existence before she died; and so she would have to make choices. And although it seemed, in a way, pointless to possess only in part what she had childishly, unthinkingly assumed would be hers in full, she carried on.

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The Sign

He was forever being seduced by younger girls who didn’t know what they wanted. He felt like wearing a badge that said, “It’s fine if you’re immature and confused, just don’t drag me into it—keep your hands to yourself.”

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The Grand Tour

We set out on an epic journey. Within the first twenty-four hours, we missed our connecting flight, got accused by the Portuguese police of breaking and entering, and slept with one eye open in an apartment crawling with spiders; and still we were undeterred.

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Urban Greetings

Every morning, the same bum would greet her by the stoop in front of her apartment building. His salutation was always the same, to the point that it functioned much like a “hello” now, thought it sounded a bit different: “You think I’m paranoid, don’t you!”

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Aristocratic Blur

He always felt strangely envious of people poorer than he was. He considered it a curse that for people with too many choices, there could be a kind of paralysis expressing itself in their aimless drifting, such that luxury overwhelms their abilities to express themselves distinctly in their own lives.

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