Maile Meloy, “Madame Lazarus”

CV1_TNY_06_23_14Booth.inddA man takes care of his little old dog while remembering past relationships.

(from The New Yorker, June 23, 2014)

I considered the dog, a blond female no bigger than a cat. She had long hair like whiskers over her eyes, so she seemed always to be raising her eyebrows. She sat down, as if she knew that would help her case. James is English and wanted to call her Cordelia, not for “Lear” but for an English novel. It was not the name I would have chosen, but it was not worth the argument. He did a ringmaster act with some toys—a knot of cloth, a ball, a round bed—to show me how good this would be. I had long associated terriers with the barking arts, but this one did not bark. She sniffed at the toys and the bed, waiting for my decision.

That description at the top is so stupid. But I’m tired. I only read this story to help me fall asleep, but it was too compelling for that, and I’m only writing this post now because that is what one does when one finishes reading a story. This is a sad little thing, with only a few sparks to make you feel something other than gorgeous hopelessness. Good for a reader. Bad for a sleeper.

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