Monday, January 2


I fell in love the moment I saw her in her grandfather’s kitchen, her dark curls cresting over her Portuguese shoulders. ‘Would you like to drink coffee?’ she smiled.

‘I’m really not that thirsty.’

‘What? What you say?’ Her English wasn’t too good. Now I’m seventy-three and she’s just turned seventy. ‘Would you like to drink coffee?’ she asked me today, smiling.

‘I’m really not that thirsty.’

‘What? What you say?’ Neither of us has the gift for language acquisition. After fifty years of marriage we have never really spoken, but we love each other more than words can say.

The story above is taken from this book:

Anthropology and 100 Other Stories (Canongate Books, 2005) by Dan Rhodes. It's one of my favorites of the books I read in 2005. According to the website, it was the author's first published book. "It was written between October 1997 and November 1998, mainly while he was working on Cherry Gardens Farm, near Groombridge in Kent/Sussex border country. Rhodes would devise and draft the stories while tying in rows of raspberries or picking plums, often in the driving rain. The book consists of 101 very short pieces about the ins and outs of the modern romance."

Though it never was a bestseller, the book had enough cult following to have a reprint. I rediscovered the book by sheer serendipity while I was waiting for a friend in Powerbooks. The stories were really very short--just 100 words each, and in every tale was this Everyguy's woe about a girl who either cheated on him, left him, or died on him, usually in a very absurd manner. "Words" was the last story in the collection, and it somehow reminds me of one of the subplots of this movie. It wasn't as funny ha-ha or as absurd as the other stories in the collection, but I think it's terribly romantic.

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