Catching the Bullet and Other Stories by Daniel Hawkes

Praise for Catching the Bullet and Other Stories

Is elegant the right term for a world of fold-up baby strollers, big-time wrestling, and misplaced pants? In Catching the Bullet and Other Stories Daniel Hawkes traces the awkward surfaces and clarifying depths in parenthood, working life, and love. The stories move with the assurance of a long forward pass, soaring and dropping right on target, its trajectory graceful and exact. —Don Bogen, author of The Known World

From "Pants"

The morning Greg Tolbert separated from his wife was completely anticlimatic. He didn't see her, she left no histrionic notes, or else they had become so routine Greg could only hear a cry of wolf in them now. She had left first, a bit early, taking their daughter to school, bidding him (still in bed) a cursory good-bye from the next room and leaving him a sinkful of breakfast dishes in gelid water. But Greg had always liked doing dishes, even though he had never admitted this to Irene, so if this was her way of getting back at him it had backfired.

Greg got up, dressed, ate Total corn flakes, finished off the coffee that Irene had forgotten to throw out, did those dishes, and left for work, a mere ten-minute drive away. "Boy, I'm going to miss this commute," he said, with an almost smug regret as he pulled into Universal Engineering's parking lot. Remembering his plastic key card as he opened the door to his new Teal Honda Accord, he was congratulating himself all the way up to the entrance for how much more alert he was, jolted into life. Up until the past month, when he finally made the decision to separate, every other day he would fail to remember the key card, looking helpless until a colleague came along and (illegally) let him in. He amused himself with more tidbits on his improvement since the decision (for example, how his hair seemed to be growing back on top) as he walked down the battleship gray hall to his office.