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Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

by Maile Meloy

These matter-of-fact slices of life tell of wrong choices, disappointments, betrayals. Despite touches of wry humour, they don't offer any hope but will make you take a good look at your own life .

Extract

She watched him, his eminently intelligent wife. He pulled her closer to make the scrutiny stop, and feeling her head on his shoulder was reassuring. He was doomed to ambivalence and desire. A braver man, or a more cowardly one, would simply flee. A happier or more complacent man would stay and revel in the familiar, wrap it around him like an old bathrobe. He seemed to be none of those things, and could only deceive the people he loved, and then disappoint and worry when they saw through him. There was a poem Meg had brought home from college, with the line 'Both ways is the only way I want it.' The force with which he wanted it both ways made him grit his teeth. What kind of fool wanted it only one way?

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