Julie Hecht: Do the Windows Open? (Deal Me In 2018 – Week 5)

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I’d have to hear the word “moss” turned into a verb. Dr. Loquesto didn’t mind hearing the word “laser” conjugated as a verb. I minded, but in my new job I wouldn’t even have the authority to say ” ‘Moss’ is not a verb.” Still, if I could learn to moss up tables and strew calla lilies in wet Oasis, maybe I could earn enough to hire the flunked-out trainee with the big hat to drive me back and forth. That was my plan.

One can take any single paragraph from Julie Hecht’s story “Do the Windows Open?” and think perhaps this a sweet and funny story about a New York neurotic and her fear of traveling in and around the city. And one would be right. It’s when you string all seventeen pages of these paragraphs together that one can begin to get tired and think “Is anything ever going to happen?” And, of course, nothing ever does. Things don’t always have to “happen” in stories, but this one just goes on a little too long.

I do enjoy the way the author only gives the reader the narrator’s perspective of her fellow bus passengers. We only have to worry about her which is more than enough. After finishing the story, I think I needed a little Xanax and Mozart, myself.

Wonderful Town

This story is included in my collection Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker edited by David Remnick. I read it when I selected the Four of Hearts for Week 5 of my Deal Me In 2018 short story project. My Deal Me In list can be found here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

2 responses to “Julie Hecht: Do the Windows Open? (Deal Me In 2018 – Week 5)

  1. “Things don’t always have to “happen” in stories, but this one just goes on a little too long.” Maybe the same is true for television – didn’t Seinfeld keep a sitcom going for years and years “about nothing?”

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