“The Great Hug” — Donald Barthelme

TO-READ. A must!


“The Great Hug” by Donald Barthelme

At the last breakfast after I told her, we had steak and eggs. Bloody Marys. Three pieces of toast. She couldn’t cry she tried. Balloon Man came. He photographed the event. He created the Balloon of the Last Breakfast After I Told Her — a butter- colored balloon. “This is the kind of thing I do so well,” he said. Balloon Man is not modest. No one has ever suggested that. “This balloon is going to be extra-famous and acceptable, a documentation of raw human riches, the plain canvas gravy of the thing. The Pin Lady will never be able to bust this balloon, never, not even if she hugs me for a hundred years.” We were happy to have pleased him, to have contributed to his career.

The Balloon Man won’t sell to kids. Kids will come up to the Balloon Man and…

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