I read this story for the first time when I was about nineteen and it really did make me wonder whether I did, in fact, belong here. (Though it took me another decade to understand that I was queer). What drew me to this story, and to the collection from which it is drawn, is the (quite comical) seriousness with which she charts her characters’ fantasies, no matter how ridiculous or outlandish, and how they function almost as a third partner in intimate relationships.
First published in The New Yorker, September 2006, and available online here. Collected in Nobody Belongs Here More Than You, Scribner/Canongate, 2007, as well as in My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, ed. Jeffrey Eugenides, HarperPress/HarperCollins, 2008