In "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," Victor, the protagonist of this story and many other stories in the collection, is unable to sleep and is brooding over the failure of a past relationship. He used to live with a white woman in Seattle, but they would fight continually. Although they never physically injured one another, they did break the lamps in the home they shared. At first, his girlfriend would replace the broken lamps, but eventually she gave up, and the two of them would "argue in the dark." This was one of several signs that told him their relationship was nearing collapse.
After moving back to Spokane and leading a dreary, aimless life, doing little but watching television, Victor gets a new job and begins to take a faint interest in life again. When his ex-girlfriend calls, he is able to apologize to her for his behavior when they were together. The resolution of the story comes when Victor accepts his insomnia, along with his responsibility for the failed relationship. The resolution is a melancholy one, as Victor makes an uneasy peace with his disappointment in the way his life has turned out and the loneliness he feels during the course of his sleepless nights.