The book Break It Down is a hybrid of poetry and prose that was written in vivid words and flash fiction. Every short story depicts the internal conflicts we undergo in our lives. The author, Lydia Davis attempts to disclose the daily drama and to make the readers feel what it is like to be in other people’s shoes.
I think the best example was her short story, Mildred and Oboe. It was about a mother and the inconvenience she has to face in renting a room in an apartment. It was not a typical story you would read and I like how Lydia injects humor and how the details are easily draw in my imagination.
Last night Mildred, my neighbor on the floor below, masturbated with an oboe. The oboe wheezed and squealed in her vagina. Mildred groaned. Later, when I thought she was finished, she started screaming. I lay in bed with a book about India. I could feel her pleasure pass up through the floorboards into my room. Of course there might have been another explanation for what I heard. Perhaps it was not the oboe but the player of the oboe who was penetrating Mildred. Or perhaps Mildred was striking her small nervous dog with something slim and musical, like an oboe. Mildred who screams lives below me. Three young women from Connecticut live above me. Then there is a lady pianist with two daughters on the parlor floor and some lesbians in the basement. I am a sober person, a mother, and I like to go to bed early – but how can I lead a regular life in this building? It is a circus of vaginas leaping and prancing: thirteen vaginas and only one penis, my little son.
It’s amazing how she was able to highlight the things and situations that normally happens to us and made it beautiful than usual. The endings of each story were mind-boggling and would always leave some questions on the table.