“Good World,” by John Haskell
Appeared in Blind Spot, issue 23, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004
Ten and two thirds pages in BANR, which probably means it’s in the range of four thousand words
That “powerlessness and optimism” is heavy stuff. How can we change our habits, make ourselves good? The little girl in the well seems to know, or perhaps it’s not knowledge but something else that makes her abruptly choose to act. The woman Anne is trapped in her habits. Laika’s habits make her happy—don’t they?—as well as good.
What is a good world?