The Lost Order
From New Yorker, 1/7/2013
#2 in the I will read and take brief notes on 300 short stories series
Story starts out, "I was at home, not making spaghetti." The story is told in a kind of frenetic stream of consciousness, where a woman talks about dieting, body image, gender dressing. It evokes a kind of nervous energy, feels real.Then her husband calls and asks her to look for his missing wedding ring. We see that maybe she's more unstable than we were let on because she says that her husband says, "I'm so sorry, my love...His voice has hairpin-turned to tender. Which is alarming." She calls herself a "daylight ghost." We find out she had once been an environmental lawyer. She quit in an impulsive move, and her husband supports her decision. She says to a UPS delivery woman, "It's like you knock on your own nightmare."
And maybe she is her own nightmare. In the final confrontation of the story, her husband questions her and reveals that he thinks she's hiding secrets. She is disconnected from him, from reality, and says at the end, "Maybe I'm the dreamer...Maybe I'm the man."