I Thought You Were Dead

I Thought You Were Dead

Pete Nelson

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 1565125975

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


For Paul Gustavson, life is a succession of obstacles, a minefield of mistakes to stumble through. His wife has left him, his father has suffered a stroke, his girlfriend is dating another man, he has impotency issues, and his overachieving brother invested his parents’ money in stocks that tanked. Still, Paul has his friends at Bay State bar, a steady line of cocktails, and Stella.

Stella is Paul’s dog. She listens with compassion to all his complaints about the injustices of life and gives him better counsel than any human could. Their relationship is at the heart of this poignantly funny and deeply moving story about a man trying to fix his past in order to save his future.

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Paul his first big break, a chance to finish Windows 95 for Morons when the original author died suddenly of what Maury called “an unrelated illness.” Paul still wondered how it could have been related. They needed to come up with an option book. Paul suggested Love for Morons, but unfortunately the publisher already had a husband-and-wife team working on it who’d been married and divorced four times, to each other, which Paul had to agree was hard to top. The editor finally suggested Nature for

her own and had come to join him. “You want up?” he asked her. “Sure.” “Promise not to whimper in the middle of the night to be let down?” he asked. “I need my sleep. Chester’s owners are going to come get you and take you to their house while I’m gone.” “No whimpering, I promise,” she said. He lifted the dog up onto the bed, where she made a nest for herself at his feet. He tried to read. Levin was convinced that Kitty thought he was an asshole. Paul was inclined to agree with her. He put

struggle to her feet, grunting and huffing to get her hindquarters up and running. She tottered off into the kitchen. The clicketyclack of her toenails on the wood floor was as reassuring as the steel wheels of the train. He heard her return, pause, and then push the screen door open with her nose to find her way out onto the porch, where she stood panting, tongue out. “What’s up?” he asked. “Hot night,” she said. “Very warm,” he agreed. He listened as a car screeched down King Street. “It’s

he thought about it. It didn’t matter if he thought about the past, the present, or the future, because each bore a particular kind of sadness. The past seemed the safest place to dwell, but it was like swimming in a river flowing unstoppably into the now and the next, neither of which held much joy or promise. “To Stella,” Karen said, touching her paper cup to his. He knew she wanted to say something about his drinking, but he knew that today she wouldn’t. “Our flower girl.” “This really

did. He couldn’t untell his story, nor could he lay it at her feet for her to finish. He couldn’t keep apologizing all the time or allow her to feel sorry for him, and he couldn’t keep feeling sorry for himself in her company. The situation was pathologically pathetic, and he couldn’t talk to her about it without pushing the relationship farther in the wrong direction. He was, in short, wasting her time. He stared at his computer screen, trying to think of what to do, aware that he was in no

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