I just finished reading “No One Belongs Here More Than You,” a collection of stories about women and men failing at love and relationships and feeling incredibly lonely. I can’t pick one story that I liked the most, because they are all so imaginative, creepy and brutal, humorous and warm. In one story, there’s a glowing black stain that comes from across the universe to make love to a teenage girl, who then grows up a bit and goes out to search for that stain in a human, but mistakenly finds it in a much younger boy. Then, there’s a story about two girls who run away from home to find freedom (and each other, hopes one of them who’s in love with the other), but all they find is the necessity of doing dirty sexual things in combination with humiliation, as if that’s the only way to survive. There’s a hilarious story about a woman who fantasizes about Prince William, and a story about an older man who keeps expecting to meet a teenage girl, but she mysteriously never shows up. Instead, he unlocks something potentially nice, potentially sad, buried deep within.
And those sentences! Unexpected, deep, following imaginative trails, curious about what will happen, and something interesting always does. I regret not having underlined anything, a stupid habit of “taking good care of books.” There were so many lines I’d like to know by heart and dazzle the world by citing the book in appropriate situations (probably every day). I’ll paraphrase one now because it strikes me as one of the most important sentences in the book, and also in life. “I regret having traded something so wonderful for something real.” That’s a definite no-no because enjoying a rich, beautiful inner world is worth more than any average reality. This book is a living proof.