This one, “How,” was written by Lorrie Moore and it is gutting. It’s in the second person, and it is about love and pain and neither, because it’s really about how to leave, how it ends, how to fall out of love.
You. What a tricky word. And love is another one of those, the kind of word that seems small but has so many nuanced meanings, and some of them are so big that they seem outsized, and the word is overloaded, a dense small thing plummeting within you. You, again.
“How” is about a woman loving a man until she doesn’t anymore, and she doesn’t know how to leave, or she if wants to, until she does. It is complicated, her relationship with this person, and her feelings about it. She is cruel to the man sometimes, even when he is nice to her, and she feels smothered by his goodness a little, maybe, or perhaps it’s something else, but sometimes she loves him and sometimes she doesn’t, and then by the end she doesn’t ever, anymore, and there is not real reason why she does or doesn’t because that kind of how it works.