First story of my project, first story in Jessica Westhead’s “and also sharks.” Sly, heart-catching first person story about a woman in an office whose cat is more real than the people around her… and who understands others better than the people-focused people around her.
The language and voice are impeccable — very of the moment and everyday and just right to almost obscure the searing truth at the centre.
The cafeteria smelled like fish because it was Fish Fingers Day. Sherry told me when we walked in. How people can eat that greasy cafeteria food all the time I’ll never be able to figure out, but I guess I got caught up in the excitement becaue the next thing I knew, I was lining up next to Sherry and pushing my orange tray along with hers, and there was tinsel and plastic holly everywhere because it was December, and Sherry even offered to buy my lunch, but then she ended up not having enough money in her purse and actually needed me to lend her a couple of dollars, which I was more than happy to do, and I told her not to even think of paying me back.
One of the “styles” we talked about in the story writing seminar I did in the fall was “deeper than you think” — this is the perfect exemplar of that.