Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday Sentence: I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Simply put, the best sentence(s)* I’ve read this past week, presented out of context and without** commentary.

If you met him, you would want to marry him. But you can’t, because I already did.

*     *     *

When I am packing a suitcase and I’ve crammed every last rectangle of folded clothing into the bag and added shoes, makeup, a just-in-case-it’s-cold cardigan and a panicked last-minute backup outfit or two, and I’m mashing everything down as hard as I can, and I go from zero to psycho in a second because I can’t get the bag zipped, and I’m stomping on the bag and hammering at it with my fists, he calmly opens it, rearranges a few things, and zips it.

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

*I chose three. Sue me.

**I am breaking the rules this week, but I can’t resist commenting on how rich with humor both of these selections are: the first with a sort of snap-snap feel to it, and the second has an admirable momentum that should be used as an example of How to Write a Long Tightly-Coiled Sentence in writing classrooms. I mean, tear it apart and count the syllables and breath-beats to marvel at how MLP turns the first part of the sentence into luggage itself, full of details and hyphenated adjectives and verbs like crammed and mashing and stomped and then see how her husband comes in and acts as the zipper, closing the sentence with neat efficiency. Zzzzzip! Now that’s how you sentence, people!


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