All during his life, most types of learning came naturally to him. It was both a blessing and a curse because, seldom having been forced to cultivate patience, he would become doubly frustrated on the rare occasions that he couldn’t readily absorb a new technique or concept.
He liked icing, and she liked cake. They grew fat together.
When he died, her father left her an inheritance large enough to travel the world many times over. She was so wracked by guilt that she had a recurring nightmare in which she was a cannibal—literally living off the remains of the dead.
She justified being overweight by saying she wanted someone to fall in love with her for her and not her body. A couple decades of loneliness and thirty pounds of M&Ms later, she began to wonder if her body wasn’t really a part of her after all.
People were always telling him to read between the lines. All he saw between the lines was white space.
He began to attack the ideas he scorned by parody. After many years, he could not quite remember where he started or clearly discern which words he really meant as opposed to the ones spoken sarcastically.
Near the end of his life, he searched through the motives behind all of the stupid things he had done. When it was not carelessness, it was loneliness.
Every time they were together, he was drunk, or high, or deliberately flirting with other girls in front of her just to make sure she knew how little she mattered to him. The whole thing made her feel like such a waste of really fine wine of some beer-guzzler’s ass.
She used him until she didn’t need him anymore. Then, for decency’s sake, she allowed herself the occasional twinge of guilt and regret usually associated with these situations.
He only lost control once. But that was enough to destroy everything.
He called to ask her out on Valentine’s and, after some hesitancy said: “Do you believe in poetry?”
She said, “I don’t believe in much of anything,” but she ended up going to the reading downtown with him anyway.
Her parents finally stopped taking Susan to the circus. She had so much fun during the few hours they were there that she cried for days afterward because the rest of life was nothing like it.
I’m sometimes criticized for being cold but I opened up my heart once. All I have to show for it is an STD.
They were teenagers when she traveled across the country for a visit, and there were no cultural activities to entertain her. So they ran through the dollar store and came out covered in tacky jewelry and fake tattoos.
The day he received his rejection letter from Harvard, he buried his face in a towel and wept. He wasn’t sad for himself, but for his parents.
When she thought about him, The Great Thing That Never Was, she could observe herself dissolving into a completely unpredictable mass of emotions and raw nerves. If she saw him again, would she say, “Fuck you,” or ignore him completely, or throw her arms around his neck?
He poured everything he had into his education. By the time he received his Master’s degree, he couldn’t afford to frame the diploma.
They were stupidly passing time, re-telling the worst pick-up lines they’d ever heard. Out of the crowd, one stood out as the clear winner: “Baby, you’re so fine, I’d like to put you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit!”
They walked into an expensive menswear shop, and the salesman asked rather ridiculously, “What brings you in today?” He raised his eyebrows and smiled, “Fate?”
After a lengthy career of art theft, he was captured, tried, and sentenced to several years in jail. He got out, wrote a book about it, and made more off the royalties than he ever had off stolen art.