...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Why It Is Dangerous To Read Too Much of the Pushcart Prize Anthology In One Sitting

I realized last night that I was walking around narrating my extremely mundane evening in my head so that it sounded like it could conceivably have been part of one of the short fiction pieces I was reading. When I opened my freezer and thought, "She had taken to eating expired food, perhaps not out of fearlessness, but because she feared death with a ferocity that astounded her," I figured I should probably take a break.

The book supported my choice by unexpectedly omitting 53 pages out of the middle of it for no apparent reason, so now I'll never know what happens to the girl with the father in jail in the Joyce Carol Oates story. This is the second book I've read in the last year that had 50-some pages inexplicably missing in the middle of it. I'm starting to think the government has assigned someone to tail me and, when I head out to work for the day, carefully extract 50 pages out of every 33rd book I attempt to read.

"She leaned in her chair, cradling her head in her hands, realizing that this omission of 53 pages was like omitting the heart from the body--what anthology can pulse with lifeblood when its chest is 53 pages short... of LOVE?"



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