Many of the stories deal with this divide between what is wanted, and the holding off for better things. In “Yes or No,” for example, our narrator looks through her old notebooks, reading vignettes and notes she made about this Edgar who — guess what — just wasn’t good enough. For anything. And yet, and yet: the obsession. The people in Hardwick’s stories are fixated on finding something not right with what they have right now — because nothing can hold a candle to their grand dream, to New York. And the dissatisfaction, so rampant. Not resigned, exactly, but serene with the consequences of one’s ambition.