“For Jeromé—with Love and Kisses,” by Gordon Lish
Apparently orginally came out in 1983; appeared in The Antioch Review, Vol. 68, No. 3, Annual All Fiction Issue (Summer 2010), pp. 546–588—JSTOR link here
43 pages, no idea how many words
I had a hard time with this story because it just goes on and on. It’s clever, but it’s not clever enough to hold up all the way through. I had no idea Lish could get so verbose, based on his work on Carver.
The title, with its play on “For Esmé,” falls flat for me. Maybe that’s deliberate—the narrator read “For Esmé” and its subtlety was completely lost on him.
Thomas Pynchon was apparently not really born Pinkowitz, but I can see why the joke was too good to give up.