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View Diary: * New Day * — What's your favorite short story? (313 comments)

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    RiveroftheWest, paradise50

    Delmore Schwartz, "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities."  A young man, in a dream, watches unfold on a movie theatre screen his father's courtship of his mother; and he watches in a sort of horror, because he knows that their marriage is ultimately doomed.

    As the dinner is eaten, my father tells of his plans for the future, and my mother shows with expressive face how interested she is, and how impressed.  My father becomes exultant.  He is lifted by the waltz that is being played, and his own future begins to intoxicate him.  My father tells my mother that he is going to expand his business, for there is a great deal of money to be made.  He wants to settle down.  After all, he is twenty-nine, he has lived by himself since he was thirteen, he is making more and more money, and he is envious of his married friends when he visits them in the cozy security of their homes, surrounded, it seems, by the calm domestic pleasures, and by delightful children, and then, as the waltz reaches the moment when all the dancers swing madly, then, then with awful daring, then he asks my mother to marry him, although awkwardly enough and puzzled, even in his excitement, at how he had arrived at the proposal, and she, to make the whole business worse, begins to cry, and my father looks nervously about, not knowing at all what to do now, and my mother says: "It's all I've wanted from the moment I saw you," sobbing, and he finds all of this very difficult, scarcely to his taste, scarcely as he had thought it would be, on his long walks over Brooklyn Bridge in the revery of a fine cigar, and it was then that I stood up in the theatre and shouted: "Don't do it.  It's not too late to change your minds, both of you.  Nothing good will come of it, only remorse, hatred, scandal, and two children whose characters are monstrous."  The whole audience turned to look at me, annoyed, the usher came hurrying down the aisle flashing his searchlight, and the old lady next to me tugged me down into my seat, saying: "Be quiet.  You'll be put out, and you paid thiry-five cents to come in."  And so I shut my eyes because I could not bear to see what was happening.  I sat there quietly.

    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

    by micsimov on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:22:15 PM PDT

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