(from Swink #3)
Beth and I are sitting in a booth at the restaurant where I work, taking our break together during the slow hours of mid-afternoon. I don’t say stupid things or talk too loud around Beth, like I do with other women, because she is my boss, and because she is married and happy and has a little boy. If she weren’t married, or if her husband were a slob or beat
her up or ignored her, then we wouldn’t be able to talk like we are now, easily and casually, because I would be aware of her breasts, and the implication of her vagina, and conversely she would be aware of my cock, and would be wondering whether or not I had any desire or intention to use it with her, and I would in turn be wondering if she was wondering about my cock and my intentions with it, and wondering further whether or not she hoped or wished I was thinking about using it on her—and then I would do what I always do when talking to a girl with whom there is a possibility I might have sex and share my bed and, perhaps, later, some breakfast and, perhaps, still later, after much sex and many breakfasts, the thoughts and emotions which constitute that impalpable and somewhat amorphous abstraction known to me as me, which is: Act weird. Fuck it up. Go home alone, again.
First of all, you’ve got the real life parts: the sick dad, the good friend he doesn’t mention the sick dad to, the date he sabotages. And then you’ve got these asides — framed like the title of the story — wherein our narrator ponders how he and his would-be girlfriend Natalie might deal with his life. It’s kinda silly, but you know what he means. And he’s not crazy, by the way. His imagined life with the movie star comes off just natural enough for you to wish it for him. I liked this story, although sometimes I found myself thinking about the Natalie Portman parts as separate from the real plot and I felt drawn into thinking about the author by extension.
Then I started thinking about Natalie Portman. I wonder if she thinks the new Shins album will also change lives. I mean, it’s pretty damn good, but we can’t keep having our lives changed every couple years. It’s just impractical.
Yeah, that was one huge, dirty excerpt I pasted in up there. You can read more of the story here.