Get the family out forever, out from around the table.
Now, at breakfast, the most important objects on the table are the way-out-of-whack coffee cups for the parents, twice normal size, and their double-sized saucers, all shiny black.
The cups are almost as tall as the normal-sized white pitcher of milk that was there for the children, when the children were there.
The white paper napkin, not nearly as important as the cups are, partially hidden under the biscuits in the basket, and getting soiled by biscuit grease, is sticking up. The points at the corners of the napkin are what stick up the highest, but the points do not reach as high as the white milk pitcher reaches with its lips — pardon, lip. Even so, allow for the possibility that both the lip of the pitcher and the napkin points express human aspiration, conceptually.
Already, there is too much to think about on the table. What is the most important thing? One of the cups should be enough to think about.
The shine of the cup.
The most important thing in any circumstance is what people want to believe is all wrong, you asshole.
(First published in Diane Williams’s Some Sexual Success Stories: Plus Other Stories in Which God Might Choose to Appear, Grove Weidenfeld, 1992)
Diane Williams (b. 1946, US) is a writer, primarily of short stories. Her most recent books are: Romancer Erector (Dalkey Archive Press, 2001); It Was Like My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted Nature (Fiction Collective Two, 2007); Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty (McSweeney’s, 2012) and Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine (McSweeney’s, 2016). She is the founder and editor of the literary annual NOON.