A bank teller starts up a May-December romance with a customer and ruminates about it.

Occasionally “The New Yorker” runs a story that makes me think, “I’m really glad I subscribe to this!” The most recent was The Pub With No Beer by Kevin Berry, a lovely Joycean story with some subtly ghostly undertones. But then they’ll run something like this, which is so quintessentially “The New Yorker” of the last 20 years – a story about the inner lives of people who have no inner lives. Maybe that’s the point? Maybe the vapidity of the protagonists is supposed to cause us to reflect on our own emptiness? Maybe the extremely low-stakes conflict is meant to highlight our own ennui in the face of the world’s glaring injustices, impossible dilemmas, and generally more interesting existence? I found this story deeply, utterly boring; what little conflict there is, is resolved with a shrug, and we are returned to the status quo ante bellum with a cosmic “meh”.

I shall have to read a horribly transgressive and soul-crushing horror story tomorrow to balance things out. Just to feel something, just to feel like I’m alive.