The Mushroom Girl

Today’s post has 2 parts – Today Part 1 is the literary portion, Part 2 will be the recipe portion.

The Mushroom Girl is a short story by author Thisbe Nissen, found in a collection of short stories called Out Of The Girls Room and Into the Night. It’s about a 20-something guy who gets a slight infatuation with a girl he sees around town. He dubs her “mushroom girl” because she has a crooked, almost fungi-shaped nose. They briefly interact when she comes to his video store, he learns what we can about her based on mannerisms and what movies she likes to rent.

The underlying theme of the story is  that we do share a connection to strangers, if given the chance to build it, or rather, embrace it.

The last paragraph of the book is this:

“People leap off buildings. They jump off subway platforms, off bridges, into the Hudson River. But they don’t leap under the delusion that anyone’s going to be there to catch them. In this city, nobody’d even clean up the mess on the sidewalk.

Drew thinks he knows what Maud must feel like. It’s as if she’s walking along the street. Suddenly, from high above, someone is calling to her. Such an embarassing lack of suicidal decorum: this guy standing on a window ledge shouting “Hey you! You down there! You with the mushrooms… The blond! Yes, you with the beautifully crooked nose. You! I’m going to jump, and I want you to catch me. No one else, just you. You’re the…. one, two three… Ready or not, here I come!”

And she could just keep walking, look away, pretend she hasn’t heard, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were speaking to me. Continue on along her way through a city of strangers.

Or she can stand there on the sidewalk and open her arms.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


Mushroom and White Wine Cream Sauce over Pasta (check back!)