you think it's like this but really it's like this / by mrm

I'm reading Self-Help by Lorrie Moore.
"Pace around in the kitchen and say that you are unhappy. 
But I love you, he will say in his soft, bewildered way, stirring the spaghetti sauce but not you, staring into the pan as if waiting for something, a magic fish, to rise from it and say: That is always enough, why is that not always enough?" 
The whole damn book is like that. Explaining it to housemate Josh, I said: It's as if in each story, she slaps you in the face and says 'Does that hurt?', slaps you again, 'Does that hurt? Here, do it to me.' 'No,' you say, 'why are we doing this?' " even as you feel you hand rise, even as the welts spread across her face. I'm taking a break.