Jehara, being busy celebrating her birthday (happy birthday, my friend), asked if I’d fill in for her scheduled post. Following her example, I turned to a book I reviewed in 2008 for my personal blog.
Go find this book at once. You must. It’s an imperative. The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted, by Elizabeth Berg, is a collection of short stories. It’s imminently quotable, and very moving.
“I love Cheetos so much it kind of makes my butt hurt.” (p. 10)
“No harp music–who could bear to listen to harp music unless you were having high tea at the Palm Court? No, the music would be jazz, Diana Krall style. And endless trays of fried foods floating by, garnished with pink magnolias, with white peonies, with deep purple orchids slashed by lines of gold and freckled with black. A million house-trained puppies who stayed puppies and children who never got older than five. That was heaven.” (p. 16-17)
“You know, Earl, it’s like you live your life opening doors. One after the other. You open a door onto a hallway, which leads to another door, which leads to another hallway But then one day you open a door and it’s to a closet. It doesn’t go anywhere. And it’s dark in there.” (p. 47)
“Janey often has night terrors, where she wakes up from a sound sleep with her heart racing and her breathing all but impossible. The idea of her own death seems to assume wretched form, and it sits on her chest, pries open her eyes, and mashes foreheads with her. The walls close in and the ceiling lowers. Darkness deepens. She does not hear but feels the words:
YOU WILL BE NO MORE.” (p. 60)
And on it goes. Berg’s language is evocative of all the things you’ve thought and felt and wondered but might not have put into words.
Go. Read. Thank me later.