This is a magnificent coming-together of all the expressions of ‘normal’ Americanness with the alien uniformity of a mass wedding of Unificationists. Rodge and Maureen attend the wedding of their daughter, Karen, and the thirteen thousand others, all getting married in the same ceremony in the New York Yankees baseball stadium.
It is weird to see but then, as the story goes on, we see it’s no weirder than any other attempt to live in the deafening hush of modern times, for example, from near the end (which is probably not a spoiler for a Don DeLillo story):
People sit at desks and stare at office walls. They smell their shirts and drop them in the hamper. People bind themselves into numbered seats and fly across time zones and high cirrus and deep night, knowing there is something they’ve forgotten to do.
Which is probably about where this began, with Ben Pester.
First published in Granta, 34, Autumn 1990, and reprinted in Granta 147, Spring 2019 – and available for subscribers to read online here; also incorporated in Mao II, Scribner/Cape, 1991