A story about madness? or apathy?
February 21, 2008 12:05 AM   Subscribe

ShortStoryFilter: A bachelor gradually finds out he has a wife? It's hard to explain it in one sentence.

I seem to remember a story about a man who's living alone, but starts noticing ever-increasing signs of a (feminine) presence over the course of some time. The changes in his home are really minor at first, like he comes home from work and notices the dishes are washed, or something got moved, but at first he just figures he forgot it was something he did. Then it becomes obvious that it's not his doing, like the drapes get changed, furniture moves around. He sees someone else's stuff, women's clothing, etc. At the end of the story the final piece of the puzzle appears: it's a woman who identifies herself as his wife, and acts as if she's been there all along, but he's never seen her before.

I hope I'm not just making it up? But it's been in my memory for years. Anyone know what it is?
posted by lou to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Something like this sort of happened in a movie called Chungking Express.
posted by macrowave at 12:32 AM on February 21, 2008

It reminds me of this French song.
posted by srah at 4:00 AM on February 21, 2008

might it be a story by jhumpa lahiri? i can't remember which book of short stories but this rings a bell, maybe check into her short stories.
posted by Soulbee at 7:22 AM on February 21, 2008

It's not what you want, but the British indie film Late Night Shopping featured a character whose girlfriend worked completely different hours to him, and thus they never, ever saw each other, despite apparently living together. There's a slight thematic connection there.
posted by Magnakai at 10:52 AM on February 21, 2008

I am almost positive this is a McDonald's commercial. I think it is an advertisement for their coffee to wake you up? I am at work right now so I can't search for it online without being blocked from any site showing video.
posted by comatose at 1:23 PM on February 21, 2008

Response by poster: comatose: if you can get me a link eventually, that would be cool. I'm not nearly as cultured enough to have been exposed to anything else in these responses besides a McDonald's commercial.

It's interesting that other people explored other similar themes but no one has so far pinned down an exact source material. What I'm remembering is there's a very prominent sense of something supernatural happening, like someone's life is changing around him by magic, rather than by trickery. It's entirely possible that my memory is bad, or it's based on the retelling of someone else's unreliable memory, or maybe this is actually an original idea that I'm passing off as someone else's.
posted by lou at 3:25 PM on February 21, 2008

I'm almost certain this was a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode, but I can't find it.

What I remember, vaguely, is that the person in the house called the police a few times because there were items showing up that shouldn't be there, things were moving, etc.

In the end a different person calls the police, for the same reason.
posted by TheDukeofLancaster at 9:30 AM on February 22, 2008

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