Long nights, empty stomachs, and impulsive cravings haunt the stories of I'm Not Hungry But I Could Eat. A college grad reunites with a high school crush when invited to his bachelor party, a lonely cat-sitter wreaks havoc on his friends' apartment, happy hour French fries leave more than grease on lips and fingers, and, squeezed into a diner booth, one man eats past his limit for the sake of friendship. Exploring the lives of bisexual and gay Puerto Rican men, these fifteen stories show a vulnerable, intimate world of yearning and desire. The stars of these narratives linger between living their truest selves and remaining in the wings, embarking on a journey of self-discovery to satisfy their hunger for companionship and belonging.
Gonzalez's debut collection crackles with humor and tension in brilliantly crafted stories about food and relationships. In "Packed White Spaces," the narrator forces himself to attend a party with former college friends where the white hosts celebrate their wealth by showing off their new washer and dryer. The narrator feels self-conscious, misses his ex-girlfriend, and muses, "Does Money have the power to stave off weight gain from fast-food dinners or... diabetes?" In "A Mountain of Invertebrate," Austin orders a seafood dish with portions to share, despite knowing his date, Jorge, doesn't like it. Watching Austin eat, Jorge thinks about all the leftovers Austin leaves in his fridge, which he dutifully consumes because "he was raised to be a garbage disposal." In "Little Moves," Felix, who is bisexual, ponders what to do with the ashes of his recently deceased sister, Vanessa, who willed him diet books and disapproved of his dating men. He meets with his younger sister, Julisa, for guidance, thinking she might have insight after having cremated her dog, and the story ends with a surprisingly touching memory of Vanessa. Throughout, Gonzalez works multiple registers, creating rich, compressed portraits of his characters. This is as poignant as it is hilarious.