Jean Thompson is great. I didn't know this until about two days ago.
Coffee coffee coffee, she didn't even like the taste and it made her brain itch, but she kept drinking it down. From time to time she picked up the menu and frowned at it, as if contemplating another order, trying to make it look like she had some reason for staying. Not that anyone seemed to mind her sitting there. The place was dead, acres of empty tables and the waitresses off in the back somewhere, what time was it anyway? She hadn't wanted to keep track of how long he'd been gone but it had been lunch and now it was not and if it got to be dinner what was she supposed to do? Maybe he was with some girl. He made jokes about it but what was stopping him? She knew he'd had other girlfriends, slept with them, sure. Who was she anyway, nobody special. What if he stopped being in love with her, what if he already had? She knew he didn't spend every second worrying about her the way she did about him. He'd get bored with her, shrug her off. It was a lot easier to imagine this than to believe in some perfect happy life. She wasn't meant to be happy. R.B. was only the particular way she had chosen to be unhappy, the sign that announced to the world that she was a truly fucked-up person.
- "The Five Senses"
If you like to read about sarcastic teenage girls, witty alcoholics, adultery, men who quit their jobs to start small businesses, average looking people, women who leave men for far-off places, and/or unexpected poignancy, then read this.