I’ve had to read this novel in chunks, to digest them all, let them slip through my bones and coagulate into further thoughts.
This is a personal, unapologetic inner monologue about the unsolvable reality of all those passing questions that make us so painfully human, and which we disregard daily, in order to survive.
And the more I followed this young woman under pressure, painfully trying to make sense of herself and her “mixed feelings” while on a long journey to vanish from her life – from things, people, and all these questions – the more I got addicted to Catherine Lacey’s powerful, impressive and insightful writing.
“I kept standing there at the door thinking through all the possible ways I could make us make do with what we’d made or what I’d made, the mess, I mean, but I didn’t knock on my husband’s door and I wondered if it would be possible for my husband to shoot me with a microscope bullet that would make me make sense again, a bullet that could send the proper wants through my body: the want to be in this nice apartment with this reliable, honest man who had paid bills and who came home and did the things he’d said he’d do and sometimes more, and the want to have a family because it was time for me to continue the march of people that I belonged to and this was what we had been building our life toward, my husband had once said, and I didn’t know how to agree or disagree. Maybe this little bullet could also make me want to live this life that was by so many standards quite nice because we had a home jobs and money in our bank accounts and a load of bread in the kitchen and good knives with sturdy handles and nice appliances and rings on our hands and we lived in a city where someone would always be willing to make you an egg sandwich despite the hour or the holiday, and we had a comfortable green couch and a record player and a decent collection of records and plenty of books and we had crown molding in our home and we had a view of treetops, and we had decently functioning bodies with lungs that could wind us and hearts pumping us and mouths that had all the regular, slimy teeth and none of the false ones, and we had genetic code that had grown us both into a respectable height and shape and I had a lot of blue dresses and black boots and he looked so nice in off-white linen shirts, as if he had been a cloud in a past life.
Catherine Lacey, Nobody Is Ever Missing
New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014, pp.230-31
Photography: Hisatomi Tadahiko