Charles Baxter, "Poor Devil"

Cleaning up the old house for the new couple in the days before the divorce.

(from The Atlantic Monthly‘s Fiction Issue)

Nobody writes the inner detail-riffic monologues of people in complicatedly troubled relationships the way Charles Baxter does. Is he the best at it? I don’t know. Yeah, this is a competition, but I shall not judge. Ribbons for everyone.
And. I dug this story. I mean not much happens in the here and now, but some of the relationships’ apparently numerous pratfalls are revealed in gradual waves, like unwrapping foil from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And you already know about the sandwich.

I have been reading a book, on the side, in fits and bits. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Get neither excited nor uppity. I’m on page 53. I’ve gotten this far in books before. I like it so far. I’ve like books at this stage before, too. I hereby swedge (a swear/pledge, of course) that my reading of a book will never interfere with my mission here at I Read A Short Story Today. People. Don’t look at me like that.

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