Homesick for Another World | Page 10 of 146

Author: Ottessa Moshfegh | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 10896 Views | Add a Review

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rls come from, who else they are working on, and so forth. He was bashful about sex and insisted on getting underneath the sheets to take off his clothes. During the act he kept his hands placed lightly on the girl’s shoulders and averted his eyes but did not close them. He had learned somewhere that closing your eyes meant that you were in love. He imagined closing his eyes with the woman from the arcade. He wondered if she had the same kind of body as these prostitutes: soft, scentless, and wan.

He thought it was quite standard to hate himself a little after visiting a prostitute, so he was never startled when the thought came to him: I am

disgusting. On the bus home, he ate an ice cream and looked out the window and thought of his woman at the arcade and of what she might be doing at just that moment, and his heart hurt.

He lived alone in the tallest house in the neighborhood. The downstairs neighbors were a young couple with a big, fat baby and a pet sow. The husband made a living collecting bribes for a local councilman. The woman had one flaccid hand that reminded Mr. Wu of a large prawn. He shuddered and gagged whenever he saw it. He felt sorry for the child, held and fed by that twisted, thin, limp, and red-skinned tentacle. The woman from the arcade had small, gentle, bronze-colored hands. Strong and muscled, not bony and not fat. Just right, he thought. Perfect hands. He went to the arcade at least once a day and stayed for three to four hours at a time, usually in the late evenings. Sometimes he went in the mornings, too, when it was free of children. Days he did not go, he felt sick to his stomach, and his heart growled like a trapped animal, brooding and useless. So he went as often as he could.

The arcade was not really an arcade. It was a room full of computers with games loaded onto them and access to the Internet. He bought a daily pass from the woman. He handed her a large bill so that she would have to make change and he could stand there longer, watching her count the money, feeling her near to him across the counter.

“How are you today, Mr. Wu?” she said. She said this every day.

He mumbled something unintelligible. He never knew what to say around her. Everything he wanted to say was “You are beautiful” and “I’m in love with you.” There was, in his mind, nothing else for him to say.

“Thank you,” he said instead, taking his change and the little card with his log-in information on it.

“Enjoy,” said the woman.

He walked to the computer with the best view of her. He peered out from over the monitor all evening, watching her greet the teenage boys, take their money, hand them their cards. When there were no customers, she played games on her cell phone. She likes games, he thought. That’s wonderful, so light of heart, so free. He loved the stiff, thick shiftiness of her hair, which she most often wore down and boxy at her shoulders. Her face was tan

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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