I ripped the page from my book – “I don’t speak, I’m sorry.” – and used it to dry her cheeks, my explanation and apology ran down her face like mascara.
The disgraced Usurer Yankel D took the baby girl home that evening… He made a bed of crumpled newspaper in a deep baking pan and gently tucked it in the oven, so that she wouldn’t be disturbed by the noise of the small falls outside… When he pulled her out to feed her or just hold her, her body was tattooed with the newsprint… Sometimes he would rock her to sleep in his arms, and read her left to right, and know everything he needed to know about the world. If it wasn’t written on her, it wasn’t important to him.
He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy.
He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.
For how long could we fail until we surrendered?
You’re incredibly beautiful,’ I told her, because she was fat, so I thought it would be an especially nice compliment, and also make her like me again, even though I was sexist.
So many days in their shared life. So many experiences. How had they managed to spend the previous sixteen years unlearning each other? How had all the presence summed to disappearance?
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) calculated 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics were fed to chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals, only counting nontherapeutic uses.
…was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn’t think about my life at all.
…accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be…may we live together in unwavering love and good health, amen.