The latest in my compilation of Literary Gut Punches comes courtesy of the exquisite, hilarious Jill Margo, whose story— How to Become a Mascot— broke me in the second sentence. (It appears in the latest issue of The Walrus and you can read it online here.)
First, quit your day job and go back to school, even though you're thirty-two already. Do this because your boyfriend is dead and you will never get to run your fingers through his curls again.
I read Margo's stuff closely and with the kind of reverence my Mother reserves for Popes. Margo so often gets me laughing right before she pulverizes my heart. And this story (which is actually based on her real-life experiences) is no different. It's the way the character's resilience coils around her grief that makes this story so compelling.