Leni Zumas' Farewell Navigator (Open City Books, 2008) is one I need to write a full review of sometime soon, but in the mean time, her story "Waste No Time if This Method Fails" is one of my favorites from the collection.
Written in a he said/she said or he thought/she thought method, it is written in six sections (though not formally sectioned off with headers or anything of that nature), with the odd numbered sections containing mostly one sentence paragraphs, starting with the word "He." The even numbered sections also contain mostly one sentence paragraphs, starting with the word "I."
The setting is the Franzy House, an institution with bars on the windows and locked doors and doctors visiting the patients regularly. The "He" in question is a patient. He is apparently a patient due to an incident that occured at the restaurant he worked at, involving him applying the Heimlich Maneuver to a gentleman that may, or may not have, needed it, but in either case, going on well beyond it was necessary to do so. Assuming the many facts he spouts during conversations with the Fish Stick Girl (the "I" of the story), the doctor, and/or internal thoughts, "He" is actually quite a bright individual.
Again, "I" is the Fish Stick Girl. That is, she works in the cafeteria at the institution and Fish Stick Girl is the name "He" associates with her. She's worked their three years but considers the past three months (yes, the time "He" has been within the barred windows) to be the best of that time. She does her best to understand all of his references, and when she doesn't, she attempts to bluff her way through anyway.
An aspect of Zumas' stories within this collection that seemed to link them was how, even in very unlikely circumstances, people make connections with others. In this case, a cafeteria worker at an institution and a patient that obviously feels he doesn't belong. The approach that Zumas takes in writing this story - the myriad of single sentence paragraphs, the repetition of the introduction to each sentence, and the amount of internal dialog, is what makes this story different. Which probably drew my attention to it, for which I'm happy as it is a great story.