Friday, June 10

Being nicer to her, resulting in her naturally wanting to stay

"The only way he wanted to influence her to stay, he said (aware, with some amusement, that the drugs were making him much more rational and articulate, as if he had somehow traveled to and was speaking from the future as part of a panel of logicians and relationship counselors), was by being nicer to her, resulting in her naturally wanting to stay. He’d said this before, he knew, mostly as a reminder to himself and Michelle—and two previous girlfriends and, for a few months, his mother—that complaining was not his ideal behavior.


In August they visited Michelle’s separated parents in Pittsburgh. Michelle’s father gave Paul his 650-page, self-published memoir. Her mother brought Michelle and Paul to a Chinese restaurant that was one gigantic room, high-ceilinged and low-lit as a natural-history museum. The next night Paul had a fever and Michelle gave him Tylenol Flu and cream-of-broccoli soup and, on her L-shaped sofa, holding each other, they watched a movie about a blind woman hanged for murdering a man who raped her after stealing her life savings."

-from "Relationship Story" by Tao Lin, published in Vice Magazine (June 2011).

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