She didn’t want to move in because there had been a rape on the third floor. I said, “The guy was a wounded veteran, under observation at Bellevue. We’ll live on the fifth floor.”
I was introduced to Leonard Michaels when I was absent one day from a fiction writing class. Returning the following week, I was handed a photocopied short story packet, which I immediately began to read since I didn’t want to pay attention in class. Everyone had already gone over the author, dissecting him and putting him into crudely labeled boxes by a teacher who couldn’t give a shit about what his students were doing (I guess he figured that’s what writers do), and by students who thought they were being graded for some reason. So, I’m glad I missed that.
He frowned at his watch as if it was his mind...
I’m writing this thankful that no one else has yet leaked information on the author. Stupid gesture as it is, I’d like to offer the same situation I found myself in. Don’t find out anything about the guy. Just grab a book, because Leonard Michaels wrote some damn funny, goddam apt short stories and that’s all you need to know.
Suggested start: I Would Have Saved Them If I Could: 1975
Other Short Story Collections:
Going Places: 1969
A Girl With a Monkey: 2000
And then here's what I think of the writing anyway:
Every sentence is succinct and calculated. All relate to each other in turn. The placement illustrates someone taking a swing at you, revealing a surprise party or tavern when you move away. Or when you wake up.
Usually the emotional content is that of a broth, things bobbing together, colliding, then spinning off. You’re still deciding whether you have an appetite.
Perversion is a given, hiding in plain sight. Women are only accessible through a man’s empiricism. But, she is a beatific sculpture. Disrespect is an odd concept, difficult to distinguish from pride, or hurricanes.
I yell sleep. It comes like a taxicab.