Spring 2001 vol 1.1
(Complete) Shorter Stories (1999)
Richard Kostelanetz
As I ran toward the goal line, with no one between me and the winning touchdown, I skidded on lime and fell; it was an accident I would remember to this day.
The theme of all fantasy is that something previously thought impossible may become possible after all, maybe.
Whenever I begin a story, my wife invariably completes it.
A professional thief, she knew how to find your things before you lost them. Like all seducers, I made promises, lots of promises, even to build bridges where no waters flow.
A vegetarian, she knew a hundred different ways for preparing aubergine, each no more edible than the others.
Once inside the Chinese restaurant, he ordered the duck with mushrooms, she a hot spicy carp, and I ordered noodles with sesame paste; we knew we would now eat well.
Though he said he was speaking “German,” it sounded more like what I heard out of the mouths of Africans in last night’s movie.
One difference between these two composers was that she wouldn’t conduct your orchestra unless you put a piece of hers on your program; he would. Asking his fans continually to reinterpret his art, he rearranged the works in his retrospective every day.
We thought of him as someone who knew his way around the world; actually, the roads he knows lead mostly to airports.
Though lines infiltrated her face, while her breasts rested on her ribs and her buttocks developed dimples, he never ceased to regard his wife as the most beautiful woman he knew.
She had two friends she rarely saw while he has none.
Inattentive to children, he could walk into a room full of noisy brats and think, nonetheless, that no one was there.
He lied because his colleagues lied, he cheated because they cheated, and he stole because he could see everyone around him successfully getting away with theft.
There were no limits to the deceits he offered to avoid cutting the grass.
For his birthday his partners gave him a ticket to a play no one wanted to see.
When his stockbroker died, he imprudently took a second wife, naively thinking that she had a similar competence.
Desperate for pennies, he sold dilapidated shoes that were swiped from the bodies of the dead.