We’re going to do a series of posts on wonderful first paragraphs from stories and novels, all selected by Jim. The first is from a story called “Something That Needs Nothing” by Miranda July, published in the New Yorker on September 18th, 2006.
“In an ideal world, we would have been orphans. We felt like orphans and we felt deserving of the pity that orphans get, but embarrassingly enough, we had parents. I even had two. They would never let me go, so I didn’t say goodbye; I packed a tiny bag and left a note. On the way to Pip’s house, I cashed my graduation checks. Then I sat on her porch and pretended I was twelve or fifteen or even sixteen. At all these ages, I had dreamed of today; I had even imagined sitting here, waiting for Pip for the last time. She had the opposite problem: her mom would let her go. Her mom had gigantic swollen legs that were a symptom of something much worse, and she was heavily medicated with marijuana at all times.”
If you have a subscription to the New Yorker, you can read the full story here. If you don’t subscribe to the New Yorker, then you need to fix that right now by going here and getting a free umbrella. Miranda’s story comes from her collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You which can be purchased here.