How could I forget. First, Gusev, by Anton Chekhov, and a word about the danger of translation.
A quote from my beloved translation:
“And again there is silence… The wind plays in the rigging, the propeller thuds, the waves splash, the cots creak, but the ear is long accustomed to it all, and it seems as if everything around is asleep and still. It is boring.”
The same from the free web version’s translation of the story:
“And again a stillness followed. . . The wind frolicked with the rigging, the screw throbbed, the waves lashed, the hammocks creaked, but the ear had long ago become accustomed to these sounds, and it seemed that everything around was asleep and silent. It was dreary.”
“It was dreary?” Fuck you, web translation! Still, have a read. The ending particularly so stick with it.
The second story is Green Magazine by Kristen Gleason.
“The Etruscan man sees the world through a narrow shunt. Do not inquire as to its origin; smell the thing. Dress in shades of metal, and flit across his circle. Make him spin. Make him into a periscope. How he loves to search the horizon! Presage touch with the prick of a needle. Not requiring affection, he will not offer it, but there are ways. Become a flag and wave your color. Claim a place on your body, and his hand will come to claim it back.”