Jonathan Schwartz


Family Matters

His grandmother was asking for him as she lay dying, they had written, and even though his mother’s side of the family were strangers, he drove out to see the old woman in Plain- field, New Jersey, on a Saturday afternoon in August that fell in the middle of an oppressive heat wave. He, Goodman, took a girl, Libby, having always decorated himself with womanly trinkets on occasions that required solemnity; he felt more comfortable in the company of a woman and realized that the importance he gave to her aesthetic acceptability reflected his own disquietude at any prospect of going it alone. The prettier the womanly trinket, he understood, the stronger he thought he appeared.