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Preview — This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
with this chick who had tons of eighties freestyle hair.
They shuffle in and out, barely look at me, exhausted by the promises they’ve made. I want to advise them: no promises can survive that sea.
(I didn’t lift a fucking finger in our apartment, male privilege, baby.)
looked like a break-dancing ghoul
You could tell he was going to pull something stupid. The good thing was he didn’t try to go back to the Barn. The bad thing was that he went and basically got married.
We’ll just be out for a little while, I said. I got up and pulled on my boots. Had I known my father even a little I might not have turned my back on him.
On the TV the newscasters were making small, flat noises at each other. They were repeating one word over and over. Later when I went to school I would learn that the word they were saying was Vietnam.
If we messed that up, joking around or cheating, he would force us to kneel down on the cutting side of a coconut grater, and only when we were bleeding and whimpering would he let us up. Now you’ll be quiet, he’d say, satisfied, and we’d lay in bed, our knees burning with iodine, and wait for him to go to work so we could put our hands against the cold glass.
Maybe she just doesn’t like children. Nobody likes children, your mother assured you. That doesn’t mean you don’t have them.
How is your mother? And you never knew what to say. Your tongue was always swollen, raw, from being blown to atoms in your sleep.
your head down. The next day you look at the new pages. For once you don’t want to burn them or give up writing forever. It’s a start, you say to the room. That’s about it. In the months that follow you bend to the work, because it feels like hope, like grace—and because you know in your lying cheater’s heart that sometimes a start is all we ever get.
i actually saw this previously in the new yorker but it's really kind of crazy and meta; maybe s the conclusion to this novel slash short story collection.