‘Mating Week’ by Ruby Cowling

All of Ruby’s work is precious to me. We share the same tiny publisher, and I think that simple fact, which has no material bearing on anything, has made me always read her work more closely than other writers. It’s a trivial connection, but I treasure it. Especially because she is so phenomenal in the short form. Mating Week is about a character wrestling with the idea of losing her solitude. It’s a moving, beautifully rendered story, with the fragility of life and also moth life fluttering there all the time. I am including this particular story because of a moment I love, when the main character has returned from a date. It has not been a disastrous date, but she isn’t sure. So before going into the house, she sits in her car. And while she sits in her car, she enjoys feeling that absolutely nobody anywhere knows where she is or what she’s thinking. I search for this exact feeling about 10 times a week. Just for the moment of it, just for the space to think. Even as it’s happening, I hope I am not alone in doing this. And then I remember this story, and of course I am not.  

Published in This Paradise, Boiler House Press, 2019

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