In the eighties, people would often fix themselves a depressing dinner of leftovers, then take that dinner into another room and watch TV while eating. This is what I learned by reading stories by Mary Gaitskill and Frederick Barthelme. I'm reading Gaitskill's Bad Behavior. I've read the first four stories. On the back, Alice Adams (the author, not the Booth Tarkington character) says the stories are "ferocious" and "terrifying". The stories I've read so far aren't ferocious or terrifying. They're not bad. They're rife with competence. They have those competent and unsatisfying endings that a lot of short stories seem to have. Have you noticed that people hardly even try to write interesting endings? I think I'll skip ahead to "Secretary", even though I know James Spader won't be in it like he was in the movie. But maybe in that story the sex will not be as tame as in the ones I've read so far.