Short story: “A Little Psychopath for Everyday Life”

by look i have opinions

“A Little Psychopath for Everyday Life,” by Jodi Daynard

Appeared in Fiction Number 57 in 2011 (subscribe); on the author’s website here

12 pages in Fiction; 4,797 words

Does a story have to mean something? The last line could imply that Julie has slipped into an abuse victim mentality, excusing or forgetting Macy’s threats, choosing to see “only ever love” from her—and from Rosa, too, suggesting that that phrase “little psychopath” is an ominous one. Or maybe not. Maybe Macy’s life went as well as it could have, and Julie is happier because of it. Without Macy’s interference, she would never have started a long-term relationship and begun raising a child at twenty-two. She would never have gotten the benefit of Macy’s pragmatic (if arguably antisocial) wisdom: “What matters, Julie, is, what kind of life do you plan to have?”

I’ve read this a couple times now. It’s fun to read and has a great title, regardless of what it means.