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The Short Form

“The Most Girl Part of You”

Amy Hempel


That was before his mother died. She died eight days ago. She did it herself. Big Guy showed me the rope burns in the beam of the ceiling. He said, “Any place I hang myself is home.” In the movie version, that is where his father would have slapped him.

But of course his father did not—didn’t slap him, didn’t even hear him. Although Big Guy’s father has probably heard what Big Guy says about the Cubs. It’s the funniest thing he can imagine; it’s what he doesn’t have to imagine, because his father really said it when he had to tell his son what the boy’s mother had done.

“And what’s more—” his father had said.

It may have been the sheer momentum of bad news, because in the vast thrilling silence after Big Guy heard the news, his father added, “And what’s more, the Cubs lost.”

“So you see,” Big Guy says these days about matters large and small, “it’s not as if the Cubs lost.”

Full story can be read at The Collagist