Mary Gaitskill is an original. We are so proud to feature her first published story here at Fictionaut. “Something Better Than This” was published in an obscure feminist magazine in Canada (now defunct) called Branching Out back in the late 1970s.
I was 22 when I wrote this. I can’t remember where it came from except that I did actually sell rhodium jewelry on Yonge St. in Toronto in the mid-70s and it was one of those occupations that could make an already crabby person insanely misanthropic. Looking at it now, the story seems so misanthropic (albeit skittishly so) that I almost want to apologize to the universe on Susan’s behalf. But at the time, I imagine I just thought keeping my sense of humor up. And I probably was.
Previously on Line Breaks:
- “Coping Stones” by Ann Beattie
- “Moving Day” by Robert Olen Butler
- “The Palatski Man” by Stuart Dybek
- “My Date with Satan” by Stacey Richter
- “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” by Amy Hempel
- “Credentials” by John Holman
- “Pink” by Terese Svoboda
- “The Line” by James Robison
- “We” by Mary Grimm
- “Shopgirls” by Frederick Barthelme
- “Fragment from an Untelevised Revolution” by Rick Moody
- “One-Way Ticket” by Antonya Nelson
- “The OD & Hepatitis RR or Bust” by T.C. Boyle