Fremragende, djævelsk empatisk novelle af Alexandra Kleeman - forfatter til en uhyrligt gode debutorman You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine (anmeldt af mig i WA Bøger) fra sidste år - i The New Yorker, "The Choking Victim", om en ung, rådvild mor. Et Kleeman-speciale er det nådesløst resignerede/irriterede, kvindelige blik på håbløst tom/selvfed mandlighed. 2 klip om 2 mænd:
"Karen and her husband had met when they were young and working in a bigger city. One of the best things about him was his face, which was handsome but not overly so. It was a healthy, normal face, and when you looked at it you could imagine the person it belonged to doing any number of harmless things—pedalling a stationary bicycle, assembling a sandwich, listening to music while driving a car. Just looking at his face was enough to make Karen feel that she had peered into every crevice of his personality. But when he was away for too long she found it difficult to remember how the different parts of his face fit together, even though they had been married for almost five years."
"To her right, a man watched her, his hands in his pockets. He had a nice face, with big teeth and ears. When you looked at his face, you could see right through it to the one he had as a little boy. It was easy to imagine him hanging upside down on a swing or standing in front of a rosebush, swatting at it with a broken-off stick. Karen saw him staring at her. She thrust forward a package of Band-Aids.
“Are you looking for these?” she demanded.
“Ah, no, sorry,” he said. He paused. “It’s just, I think I know you.” He had a look on his face as if he were waiting for her to complete a sentence.
“From where?” Karen asked. She looked more closely at his whole person. He wore a white button-down shirt. She had always had trouble recognizing people she knew when they dressed up for work.
He named the college in Connecticut that she had gone to. He had been a film major—the film program had changed since he’d gone there, he told her, it used to deal in concrete skills, the mechanics of shooting and editing a film. Now it was mostly where people went to argue about movies. Sometimes they invited him back to give a talk and he thought about refusing, but in the end he did it anyway, because if he could, in his thirty-minute talk, impart any advice on how one manipulates the substance of film he felt that it was his duty. Karen nodded. She relaxed. With his patronizing tone and his floppy brown hair, he was just the sort of person she used to listen to at parties, trying to think of intelligent, psychologically driven questions to ask while taking small sips from a cup of lukewarm beer. She had always been interested in people like this; in their arrogance, they reminded her of the type of stylized, opinionated person she might have become if she had been a man."