Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You"

Courtney Maum is the author of the novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, out now from Touchstone Books. The humor columnist behind the “Celebrity Book Review” on Electric Literature and an advice columnist for Tin House, she splits her time between the Massachusetts Berkshires and New York City.

Maum applied the Page 69 Test to I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and reported the following:
Page 69 (this is everything that’s on the page):
“They’re all about ex-lovers!” said Synneve, getting up to pour more wine. “They’re all about ... keys, right? Places you used to live?”

I avoided Anne’s eyes, but I could feel them on me, like a crocodile resting in the water, sizing up its prey. “Not exactly,” I said, handing off the cheese plate. “They’re places I used to have keys to, yeah, but they’re not all ex-girlfriends.”

“They’re mostly ex-girlfriends,” said Anne, carving off a wedge.

“Well,” said Synneve, “like I said, I’d be too jealous. A painting of another woman’s bed!”

“Oh, yeah, no,” said Thierry. “You’d go nuts.”

“They’re all women from the past,” I repeated.
 Synneve burst out laughing. “Well, obviously! I mean, you’re not going to go and . . .” She reddened.
 Anne drained her wineglass and filled it with water. She drained that, and filled it up again. No one else budged.

“Do you guys want to move into the living room?” Synneve attempted. “Have some fruit and cognac?”

Fruit and cognac are good for warming the throat and belly, but they can’t heal a hurt heart. On the drive home, I took the driver’s seat and Anne spent the entirety of the ride staring out the black windows of the car.

The only person I told about Lisa is Julien. I never talked about her to any of our friends, and while this was a good move for the integrity of our couplehood and Anne’s pride, it also meant exposing ourselves to the verbal faux pas of people who weren’t in the know about the leaky state of our union.
I think page 69 is a pretty good representative of the rest of my novel. Thanks, page 69! In this scene, our failed monogamist of a protagonist, Richard Haddon, has gone to a dinner party in the Paris suburbs with his French wife, Anne-Laure. It’s a rare mid-week outing for them—they have a young daughter at home and have both been busy with their respective careers (Richard is an artist, Anne-Laure is a lawyer). They’ve been able to step out of the muck of their marital problems for one blessed night, and everything was going swimmingly until Richard’s recent painting exhibit was brought up. I like this scene because it shows how delicate a relationship is while it’s healing. It’s funny how sexual relationships and bodily injuries are similar in this way—one wrong step, and you’re back in the hurt, back in the pain, back in distress.
Visit Courtney Maum's website.

--Marshal Zeringue