This Trio of Stories Is Short So Read Each One Slowly

On Love, Death, and Resilience


The Gucci Bag

It was the girl’s birthday and the poor boy took her into Bloomingdale’s and said, “Pick out anything you want.”

The girl left with a Gucci bag.

“I could only afford to eat one chicken for a whole month after that,” the poor boy said 30 years later.

“It’s not like I asked your father to do that for me,” the girl called from the living room.


The Playlist

“Our First Dance” is a collaborative playlist of bubblegum summer electro-pop club-banger bops. She and I would alternate adding songs one-by-one.

She stopped when she got really sick, but I still added a song every time I thought of her. After she died, I looked back over the playlist. The last song she’d added, weeks before she even started treatments, was called “Birth In Reverse.” I still haven’t listened to it.


The Bull Rider

Throughout his career, a young bull rider broke dozens of bones and had surgeries to replace both hips and both knees.

Hobbling and ailing through his 50s, he started yoga. His single goal: to bend down and tie his shoes.

Years later, at the end of one class, the bull rider shifted his weight, reached down, tied his left shoe, and started to cry.


Ben Kassoy is on Twitter and Facebook. He also has a website.


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