Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Elaine Coleman

Take one, pass it down. The photocopied pages of “The Disappearance of Elaine Coleman” make their way around the classroom, and the students have their assignment for the evening.

Eleven years later, the first sentence of the New Yorker‘s abstract summarizes the story just as I remember it:

The disappearance of a quiet, unremarkable, anonymous woman haunts the narrator, who realizes that she didn’t disappear suddenly, as the police believe, but gradually, from years of feeling almost invisible.

Read more:

As a quiet, unremarkable, anonymous man, I think Elaine Coleman might be my dream girl, and yesterday, I took a small step towards joining her.


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