I Thought You Were Dead
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Stella is Paul’s dog. She listens with compassion to all his complaints about the injustices of life and gives him better counsel than any human could. Their relationship is at the heart of this poignantly funny and deeply moving story about a man trying to fix his past in order to save his future.
the two of them had finished a game of catch, the shadows of daylight savings time long at twilight, their faces painted orange by the fading sun’s holy light, the two of them wearing matching Twins caps they’d bought at Metropolitan Stadium. Paul was struck by how young his father was in the picture, his strong shoulders and broad chest. If Harrold had ever had a moment of self-doubt in his life, Paul was unaware of it. Looking at the picture, Paul tried to put himself in his father’s shoes. He
NO PaulGus: I don’t think I ever saw Karen disagree with her female friends about ANYTHING. Seriously. So if you disagree, you must not be listening because obviously, if I heard what she said, I’d agree with her. What sense does that make? None whatsoever. HarrGus: NO PaulGus: Or she’d be clearly angry and sulking and when I’d say, “Is something bothering you?” she’d say, “No.” Or she’d shut down and not say anything, and I’d ask her if she was all right and she’d say she was, but I knew she
the competition. TamsenP: that’s not the way it is. PaulGus: But you can see how I might feel like it is. TamsenP: i can see that, yes. PaulGus: So just answer the question and tell me the truth. The thing I’ve always liked best about us is that we’ve always told each other the truth. I’d hate to see that change, even under the present circumstances. TamsenP: yes, things have changed. PaulGus: How so? TamsenP: they continue to evolve. PaulGus: Don’t be coy, please. TamsenP: stephen asked
where he picked up the phone and called his brother. He asked him, just to make chitchat, if he’d finished his shopping, to which Carl replied that he’d been finished since midsummer. Of course. “I just wanted to thank you for the baseball,” Paul said. “Did you know Harmon Killebrew had over eight thousand career at bats and not a single bunt?” “His arms were bigger than my legs,” Carl said. “Anyway, thanks,” Paul said. “Well, you did a great job with Dad,” Carl said. “I don’t think I could
wondering where she could possibly be hiding, until I noticed that in her terror, she’d gotten up on the couch and actually pushed through the screen window to get out, jumping down onto the front porch. I drove around town for over an hour looking for her, to no avail. I was, needless to say, concerned. Around 11:30 that night, my phone rang. Stella wore a tag on her collar with my phone number on it as well as a message that said, if you find me outside a bar, leave me alone — my owner is