The most confident of women are those who believe in every scrap of fabric they wear. They are the ones who are as happy wih their drawers as they are with their gowns. You can tell the difference between a woman who wraps herself in beautiful silks and satins and she who wears...otherwise.
I have notebooks and sketchbooks for ideas. I also have drawers full of envelopes covered in quick outlines, scenes or scraps of dialogue that I don't want to forget. I tend to grab whatever's to hand and just get the thing down before it's lost. It's not what you would call a streamlined system.
I have shed pewter tears! It is too melancholy! Rather let me go to the wars and lose arms and legs! It would at least be a change. I cannot bear it longer! Now, I know what it is to have a visit from one's old thoughts, with what they may bring with them! I have had a visit from mine, and you may be sure it is no pleasant thing in the end; I was at last about to jump down from the drawers.
Hans Christian Andersen
All who wish to hand down to their children that happy republican system bequeathed to them by their revolutionary fathers, must now take their stand against this consolidating, corrupting money power, and put it down, or their children will become hewers of wood and drawers of water to this aristocratic ragocracy.
Biography is the medium through which the remaining secrets of the famous dead are taken from them and dumped out in full view of the world. The biographer at work, indeed, is like the professional burglar, breaking into a house, rifling through certain drawers that he has good reason to think contain the jewelry and money, and triumphantly bearing his loot away.
Many of the artifacts of my house had become potential devices for my own destruction: the attic rafters (and an outside maple or two) a means to hang myself, the garage a place to inhale carbon monoxide, the bathtub a vessel to receive the flow from my opened arteries. The kitchen knives in their drawers had but one purpose for me.
Oh, to awake from dreaming! Look, there is the chest of drawers. Let me pull myself out of this waters. But they heap themselves on me; they sweep me between their great shoulders; I am turned; I am tumbled; I am stretched, among these long lights, these long waves, these endless paths, with people pursuing, pursuing.
I'm curious about things that people aren't supposed to see""so, for example, I liked going to the British Museum, but I would like it better if I could go into all the offices and storage rooms, I want to look in all the drawers and""discover stuff. And I want to know about people. I mean, I know it's probably kind of rude but I want to know why you have all these boxes and what's in them and why all your windows are papered over and how long it's been that way and how do you feel when you wash things and why don't you do something about it?
Nobody should have to put their boxers in a half rotted chest of drawers.' 'Hey. I'll have you know that the rustic look is very popular in the burbs.' 'Rustic?' Chase snorted. 'Is that your way of saying termite infested?' 'This furniture does not have termites. Mice maybe, even moths, but not termites.' 'Great, I can look forward to having a swiss cheese wardrobe.
Gary Burnetts office is shelved with theological books, guitars fill the floor, and the drawers are crammed with CDs. In The Gospel According to the Blues, Gary brings his vocation as a New Testament teacher together with his passion for the blues and gives the reader scholarly knowledge and wise insight.
... in the relentless and meaningless manner one searches for something in a nightmare, coming on doors that won't open or drawers that won't shut, struggling over and over against the same meaningless thing, not knowing why the effort seems so desperate, why the sudden sight of a chair with a shawl thrown over it inspires the mind with horror.
Kropp on the other hand is a thinker. He proposes that a declaration of war should be a kind of popular festival with entrance-tickets and bands, like a bull fight. Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out on themselves. Whoever survives the country wins. That would be much simpler and more than just this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting
Erich Maria Remarque
If you are one of the hewers of wood and drawers of small weekly paychecks, your letters will have to contain some few items of news or they will be accounted dry stuff.... But if you happen to be of a literary turn of mind, or are, in any way, likely to become famous, you may settle down to an afternoon of letter-writing on nothing more sprightly in the way of news than the shifting of the wind from south to south-east.
THE HARDEST THING WE'LL EVER HAVE TO DO IS SEPARATE OUR STUFF NOW THAT WE'RE THROUGH ARE YOU KIDDING ME, THE SHAM-WOW SET IS MINE IT WAS A GIFT FROM MY MOTHER YOU JUST USED IT ALL THE TIME THE FLAT SCREENS MINE BUT THE CABLES YOURS I'VE GOT THE BEDSIDE TABLES YOU CAN HAVE THE DRAWERS YOU SAY YOU'RE GONNA USE IT BUT YOU NEVER WILL I'LL TRADE MY APPLE TV FOR YOUR FOREMAN GRILL I KNOW MY OBSESSION USED TO MAKE YOU LAUGH BUT IF YOU TAKE MY WILL SMITH AUTOGRAPH I'LL LOSE MY MIND, I THINK WE'RE BOTH STARTING TO FIND
And in bed, deep inside the building, are all the headaches that won't go away. The failed kidneys, the rashes, the ragged-edged moles, the lumps on the breast, the coughs that have turned nasty. In the Marie Curie Ward on the fourth floor are the kids with cancer. Their bodies secretly and slowly being consumed. And then there's the mortuary, where the dead lie in refrigerated drawers with name tags on their feet.
Nobody should be hitting lotto for 36 million dollars when we got people starving in the streets. That is not idealistic, that's just real. That is just stupid. There's no way Michael Jackson, or whoever should have thousands, millions, billions of dollars and we got people broke with two-three jobs and still can't pay bills on time. There's no way! No way these people should have planes when people don't have houses, apartments, shacks, drawers, pants!!!
I think memory is the most important asset of human beings. It's a kind of fuel; it burns and it warms you. My memory is like a chest: There are so many drawers in that chest, and when I want to be a fifteen-year-old boy, I open up a certain drawer and I find the scenery I saw when I was a boy in Kobe. I can smell the air, and I can touch the ground, and I can see the green of the trees. That's why I want to write a book.
I rummaged through the drawers in search of a strong poison. I thought of nothing as I looked; I had to get it over with as quickly as possible. It was as if it were an everyday task I needed to do. All I could find were things of no use to me: buttons, string, thread of various colors, notebooks-all strongly redolent of naphthalene and none capable of causing a man's death. Buttons, thread, and string-that is what the world contained at this most tragic of moments.
I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.
One night she hid the pink cotton scarf from her raincoat in the pillowcase when the nurse came around to lock up her drawers and closets for the night. In the dark she had made a loop and tried to pull it tight around her throat. But always just as the air stopped coming and she felt the rushing grow louder in her ears, her hands would slacken and let go, and she would lie there panting for breath, cursing the dumb instinct in her body that fought to go on living
When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time""the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes""when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever""there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.
When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time-the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes-when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever-there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.
I like the copious, shapeless, warm, not so very clever, but extremely easy and rather coarse aspect of things; the talk of men in clubs and public-houses; of miners half naked in drawers the forthright, perfectly unassuming, and without end in view except dinner, love, money and getting along tolerably; that which is without great hopes, ideals, or anything of that kind; what is unassuming except to make a tolerably, good job of it. I like all that.
And why does England thus persecute the votaries of her science? Why does she depress them to the level of her hewers of wood and her drawers of water? Is it because science flatters no courtier, mingles in no political strife? ... Can we behold unmoved the science of England, the vital principle of her arts, struggling for existence, the meek and unarmed victim of political strife?
Moominmamma hurried off to pack. She collected blankets, saucepans, birch-bark, a coffee-pot, masses of food, suntan-oil, matches, and everything you can eat out of, on or with. She packed it all with an umbrella, warm clothes, tummy-ache medicine, an egg-whisk, cushions, a mosquito-net, bathing-drawers and a table cloth in her bag. She bustled to and fro racking her brains for anything she had forgotten, and at last she said: "Now it's ready! Oh, how lovely it will be to have a rest by the sea!
In front of me 327 pages of the manuscript [Master and Margarita] (about 22 chapters). The most important remains - editing, and it's going to be hard. I will have to pay close attention to details. Maybe even re-write some things... 'What's its future?' you ask? I don't know. Possibly, you will store the manuscript in one of the drawers, next to my 'killed' plays, and occasionally it will be in your thoughts. Then again, you don't know the future. My own judgement of the book is already made and I think it truly deserves being hidden away in the darkness of some chest. [Bulgakov from Moscow to his wife on June 15 1938]
If you were coming in the Fall, I'd brush the Summer by With half a smile and half a spurn, As Housewives do a Fly. If I could see you in a year, I'd wind the months in balls - And put them each in separate Drawers, For fear the numbers fuse - If only Centuries, delayed, I'd count them on my Hand, Subtracting, till my fingers dropped Into Van Diemen's land. If certain, when this life was out, That yours and mine should be, I 'd toss it yonder like a rind, And taste eternity. But, now, uncertain of the length Of this, that is between, It goads me, like the Goblin Bee, That will not state - its sting.
I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls with clean blood and organized drawers. I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests at night when no one else is alive or awake however you choose to see it and I live in my own flames sometimes burning too bright and too wild to make things last or handle myself or anyone else and so I run. run run run far and wide until my bones ache and lungs split and it feels good. Hear that people? It feels good because I am the slave and ruler of my own body and I wish to do with it exactly as I please
And why does England thus persecute the votaries of her science? Why does she depress them to the level of her hewers of wood and her drawers of water? Is it because science flatters no courtier, mingles in no political strife?... Can we behold unmoved the science of England, the vital principle of her arts, struggling for existence, the meek and unarmed victim of political strife? [Reviewing Charles Babbage's Book, Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830)]
There's no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there's people starving. There's no way! There's no way that these people should own planes and there people don't have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you're rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids, can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there's somebody with no room?! It just don't make sense to me. It don't.
His body and his soul appeared to have the strange ability to repel the hours, just as, inversely, a magnet attracts metal. Everything spun about him and fled; he was always the sole centre of an enormous circumference. He kept moving forwards, body and soul, in the hope of coming close to what fled at his approach. The same thing happened with time - his position remained constant in relation to the thing which, however hard he tried to clasp it to him, stole away from him and bounded into the distance. He was the one who had no incriminating papers in his drawers, who could show his diary to anyone. He was a creator. Perhaps that was why his life did not exist
Me¡rio de Se¡-Carneiro
When he did think-when his brain began the slow chugging of rusty gears-the only thoughts that came were unspeakable things like, what's the worst age a child can die? Worse yet was-after hours spent staring at the ceiling until it became a real-life Escher print with fans on the floor, useless windowsills, and dresser drawers that spilled underwear when opened-worse yet was when his mind found answers to those questions. Two-years-old isn't so bad, he mused. They barely had a life. Twenty? At least they got to experience life! But fourteen... fourteen was the worst.
Jake Vander Ark
Information about time cannot be imparted in a straightforward way. Like furniture, it has to be tipped and tilted to get it through the door. If the past is a solid oak buffet whose legs must be unscrewed and whose drawers must be removed before, in an altered state, it can be upended into the entryway of our minds, then the future is a king-size waterbed that hardly stands a chance, especially if it needs to be brought up in an elevator. Those billions who persist in perceiving time as the pursuit of the future are continually buying waterbeds that will never make it beyond the front porch or the lobby. And if man's mission is to reside in the fullness of the present, then he's got no space for the waterbed, anyhow, not even if he could lower it through a skylight.
Ah, dear Reader, is there a married man living who hasn't purged his drawers and closets of premarital memorabilia, only to have one more incriminating relic from yester-life rear its lovely head? Kristy contends that old flames never die, not completely. They smolder for years in hidden places. They flare up again just when you think you're over them. They can burn you if you don't deal with them. Such is the price I've had to pay for not rooting out the evidence of my life B.C. (Before Contentment). Or, perhaps, for having planted it too well. But that, you see, is no longer an issue. Shall I tell you the crux of this argument? A man with a past can be forgiven. A man without one cannot be trusted. If there were no pictures in my drawer for Kirsty to uncover, I would have had to produce some.
Here's what I think: when you're born, you're assigned a brain like you're assigned a desk, a nice desk, with plenty of pigeonholes and drawers and secret compartments. At the start, it's empty, and then you spend your life filling it up. You're the only one who understands the filing system, you amass some clutter, sure, but somehow it works: you're asked the capital of Oregon, and you say Salem; you want to remember your first-grade teacher's name, and there it is, Miss Fox. Then suddenly you're old, and though everything's still in your brain, it's crammed so tight that when you try to remember the name of the guy who does the upkeep on your lawn, your first childhood crush comes fluttering out, or the persistent smell of tomato soup in a certain Des Moines neighborhood.
Ultimately, we will lose each other to something. I would hope for grand circumstance-death or disaster. But it might not be that way at all. It might be that you walk out one morning after making love to buy cigarettes, and never return, or I fall in love with another ... It might be a slow drift into indifference. Either way, we'll have to learn to bear the weight of the eventuality that we will lose each other to something. So why not begin now, while your head rests like a perfect moon in my lap ... ? Why not reach for the seam in this ... night and tear it, just a little, so the falling can begin? Because later, when we cross each other on the streets, and are forced to look away, when we've thrown the disregarded pieces of our togetherness into bedroom drawers and the smell of our bodies is disappearing like the sweet decay of lilies-what will we call it, when it's no longer love?
Never before in history has such a sweeping fervor for freedom expressed itself in great mass movements which are driving down the bastions of empire. This wind of change blowing through Africa, as I have said before, is no ordinary wind. It is a raging hurricane against which the old order cannot stand [... ] The great millions of Africa, and of Asia, have grown impatient of being hewers of wood and drawers of water, and are rebelling against the false belief that providence created some to be menials of others. Hence the twentieth century has become the century of colonial emancipation, the century of continuing revolution which must finally witness the total liberation of Africa from colonial rule and imperialist exploitation.
First memory: a man at the back door is saying, I have real bad news, sweat is dripping off his face, Garbert's been shot, noise from my mother, I run to her room behind her, I'm jumping on the canopied bed while she cries, she's pulling out drawers looking for a handkerchief, Now, he's all right, the man say, they think, patting her shoulder, I'm jumping higher, I'm not allowed, they think he saved old man Mayes, the bed slats dislodge and the mattress collapses. My mother lunges for me. Many traveled to Reidsville for the event, but my family did not witness Willis Barnes's electrocution, From kindergarten through high school, Donette, the murderer's daughter, was in my class. We played together at recess. Sometimes she'd spit on me.
I am clumsy, drop glasses and get drunk on Monday afternoons. I read Seneca and can recite Shakespeare by heart, but I mess up the laundry, don't answer my phone and blame the world when something goes wrong. I think I have a dream, but most of the days I'm still sleeping. The grass is cut. It smells like strawberries. Today I finished four books and cleaned my drawers. Do you believe in a God? Can I tell you about Icarus? How he flew too close to the sun? I want to make coming home your favourite part of the day. I want to leave tiny little words lingering in your mind, on nights when you're far away and can't sleep. I want to make everything around us beautiful; make small things mean a little more. Make you feel a little more. A little better, a little lighter. The coffee is warm, this cup is yours. I want to be someone you can't live without. I want to be someone you can't live without.
It is the custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
I have a date, ' he explained. 'This is an emergency.' He paused to catch his breath. 'Do you know' - breath - 'how to iron?' I walked over to the pink shirt. It was wrinkled like an old woman who'd spent her youth sunbathing. If only the Colonel didn't ball up his every belonging and stuff it into random dresser drawers. 'I think you just turn it on and press it against the shirt, right?' I said. 'I don't know. I didn't even know we had an iron.' 'We don't. It's Takumi's. But Takumi doesn't know how to iron, either. And when I asked Alaska, she started yelling, "You're not going to impose the patriarchal paradigm on me." Oh God, I need to smoke. I need to smoke, but I can't reek when I see Sara's parents. Okay, screw it. We're going to smoke in the bathroom with the shower on. The shower has steam. Steam gets rid of wrinkles, right?
A girl stood before him in midstream, alone and still, gazing out to sea. She seemed like one whom magic had changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful seabird. Her long slender bare legs were delicate as a crane's and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed had fashioned itself as a sign upon the flesh. Her thighs, fuller and soft-hued as ivory, were bared almost to the hips, where the white fringes of her drawers were like feathering of soft white down. Her slate-blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed behind her. Her bosom was as a bird's, soft and slight, slight and soft as the breast of some dark-plumaged dove. But her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face.
WHEN I GOT THE PHONE CALL FROM MY GIRL BOSCOE ASKIN' IF I WANNA GO AND GRAB SOME TACOS YO I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF STREET FIGHTER X I AIN'T TRYNA HIT UP ALL YOU CAN EAT NIGHT AGAIN BUT BOSCOE WAS LIKE 'HO PUT DOWN THE CONSOLE IF YOU GO TO BED STARVIN' THEY'LL HOLD ME RESPONSIBLE' SHE WAS RIGHT SON THE KID WAS HUNGRY SO I STOPPED M. BISON FROM KICKING CHUN LI AND I PRESSED PAUSE, PUT ON MY FRESH DRAWERS QUICKLY YES YA'LL EVEN SHAVED MY CHEST ALL SPIFFY THEN NIKKIE JEAN HIT ME, SAID SHE WAS IN TOWN FOR THE WEEK AND DO I WANNA COME AND JOIN HER IN THE SHEETS SWEET HIT UP HER SUITE AN HOUR LATER FRONTWARDS BACKWARDS I'M A POWER PLAYER DIDN'T WANT BOSCOE TO BE MAD I DIDN'T MEET HER SO BEFORE I LEFT HOME LEFT THE PHONE OF THE RECEIVE
YOU&RSQUO;ZE A BROKE LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, JOKE LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, SPONGE BOBON YOUR SHIRT LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, I PLAY IN DIRT LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, ALL DIRT K-SWISS LOOKIN BOY, BROWN DOOKIE STAINS IN DRAWERS LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, SCOOBY DOOBY-DOOBY-DOOOO!!! MIKE VICK LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, I WON&RSQUO;T NEED NO RENT LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, LOOKIN&RSQUO; REAL UGLY IN THE FACE LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, JAIL LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, WEAVE LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, NEED TO BRUSH YO TEETH LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, BOOT LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, SOUP LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, WEARIN&RSQUO; GREEN JOC IN SUIT LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY, SAY IT AGAIN! SAY IT AGAIN! OL&RSQUO; PINKY LOOKIN&RSQUO; BOY,
Hot Stylz & Yung Joc
By revealing to Tomas her dream about jabbing needles under her fingernails, Tereza unwittingly revealed that she had gone through his desk. If Tereza had been any other woman, Tomas would never have spoken to her again. Aware of that, Tereza said to him, Throw me out! But instead of throwing her out, he seized her hand and kissed the tips of her fingers, because at that moment he himself felt the pain under her fingernails as surely as if the nerves of her fingers led straight to his own brain. Anyone who has failed to benefit from the Devil's gift of compassion (co-feeling) will condemn Tereza coldly for her deed, because privacy is sacred and drawers containing intimate correspondence are not to be opened. But because compassion was Tomas's fate (or curse), he felt that he himself had knelt before the open desk drawer, unable to tear his eyes from Sabina's letter. He understood Tereza, and not only was he incapable of being angry with her, he loved her all the more.
In the end it comes down to two rival versions of the English middle afternoon. Post-Barrett, Pink Floyd kept on in a middle-afternoonish vein, but they fell in love with the idea of portentous storm clouds in the offing somewhere over Grantchester... Barrett's afternoonishness was far more supple and engaging. It superimposed the hippie cult of eternal solstice on the pre-teatime daydreams of one's childhood, occasioned by a slick of sunlight on a chest of drawers... His afternoonishness is lit by an importunate adult intelligence that can't quite get back to the place it longs to be... Barrett created the same precocious longing in adolescents. "I remember 'See Emily Play' drifting across a school corridor in 1967... and I remember the powerful wish to stay suspended indefinitely in that music... I also remember the quasi-adult intimation that this wasn't possible. [from the London Review of Books for January 2, 2003]
The odd sensation I had while cooking would often last through the meal, then dissolve as I climbed the stairs. I would enter my room and discover the homework books I had left on the bed had disappeared into my backpack. I'd look inside my books and be shocked to find that the homework had been done. Sometimes it had been done well, at others it was slapdash, the writing careless, my own handwriting but scrawled across the page. As I read the work through, I would get the creepy feeling that someone was watching me. I would turn quickly, trying to catch them out, but the door would be closed. There was never anyone there. Just me. My throat would turn dry. My shoulders would feel numb. The tic in my neck would start dancing as if an insect was burrowing beneath the surface of the skin. The symptoms would intensify into migraines that lasted for days and did not respond to treatment or drugs. The attack would come like a sudden storm, blow itself out of its own accord or unexpectedly vanish. Objects repeatedly went missing: a favourite pen, a cassette, money. They usually turned up, although once the money had gone it had gone for ever and I would find in the chest of drawers a T-shirt I didn't remember buying, a Depeche Mode cassette I didn't like, a box of sketching pencils, some Lego.
When the woman you live with is an artist, every day is a surprise. Clare has turned the second bedroom into a wonder cabinet, full of small sculptures and drawings pinned up on every inch of wall space. There are coils of wire and rolls of paper tucked into shelves and drawers. The sculptures remind me of kites, or model airplanes. I say this to Clare one evening, standing in the doorway of her studio in my suit and tie, home from work, about to begin making dinner, and she throws one at me; it flies surprisingly well, and soon we are standing at opposite ends of the hall, tossing tiny sculptures at each other, testing their aerodynamics. The next day I come home to find that Clare has created a flock of paper and wire birds, which are hanging from the ceiling in the living room. A week later our bedroom windows are full of abstract blue translucent shapes that the sun throws across the room onto the walls, making a sky for the bird shapes Clare has painted there. It's beautiful. The next evening I'm standing in the doorway of Clare's studio, watching her finish drawing a thicket of black lines around a little red bird. Suddenly I see Clare, in her small room, closed in by all her stuff, and I realize that she's trying to say something, and I know what I have to do.
I usually enjoy setting up a new kitchen, but this has become a joyless and highly charged task. My mother and I each have our own set of kitchen boxes, which means that if there are two cheese graters between us, only one will make it into a cupboard. The other will be put back in a box or given to Goodwill. Each such little decision has the weight of a Middle East negotiation. While her kitchenware is serviceable, I'm a sucker for the high end: All-Clad saucepans and Emile Henry pie dishes. Before long, I'm shaking my head at pretty much everything my mother removes from her San Diego boxes. She takes each rejected item as a personal slight - which in fact it is. I begrudge her even her lightweight bowls, which she can lift easily with her injured hand. Here she is, a fragile old woman barely able to bend down as she peers into a low cupboard, looking for a place where she can share life with her grown daughter. At such a sight my heart should be big, but it's small, so small that when I see her start stuffing her serving spoons into the same drawer as my own sturdy pieces, lovingly accumulated over the years, it makes me crazy. Suddenly I'm acting out decades of unvoiced anger about my mother's parenting, which seems to be materializing in the form of her makeshift collection of kitchenware being unpacked into my drawers. When I became a mother myself, I developed a self-righteous sense of superiority to my mother: I was better than my mother, for having successfully picked myself up and dusted myself off, for never having lain in bed for days on end, too blotto to get my child off to school or even to know if it was a school day. By sheer force of will and strength of character, I believed, I had risen above all that she succumbed to and skirted all that I might have inherited. This, of course, is too obnoxiously smug to say in words. So I say it with flatware.
People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary's mother had accepted him as her son's lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she'd barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she'd hunted through her son's drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. '... And yet, ' he whispered, 'The janitor at school-remember him? Mr. Feeney? -he'd openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers... ' What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions-the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he'd become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both-Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. 'The irony, ' he said, '... is that now that I'm this blind man, it's clearer to me than it's ever been before. What's the line? 'Was blind but now I see... '' He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. 'You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought... said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message... That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I'm fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness-That's what makes me sad. Everyone's so scared to be happy.' 'I know what you mean, ' I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. 'No you don't, ' he said. 'You mustn't. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you're afraid.' 'I'm not afraid. It's more like... ' I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. 'I'll give you what I learned from all this, ' he said. 'Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Miss Mapp moved towards the screen. "What a delicious big screen, " she said. "Yes, but don't go behind it, Mapp, " said Irene, "or you'll see my model undressing." Miss Mapp retreated from it precipitately, as from a wasp's nest, and examined some of the studies on the wall, for it was more than probable from the unfinished picture on the easel that Adam lurked behind the delicious screen. Terrible though it all was, she was conscious of an unbridled curiosity to know who Adam was. It was dreadful to think that there could be any man in Tilling so depraved as to stand to be looked at with so little on... Irene strolled round the walls with her. "Studies of Lucy, " she said. "I see, dear, " said Miss Mapp. "How clever! Legs and things! But when you have your bridge-party, won't you perhaps cover some of them up, or turn them to the wall? We should all be looking at your pictures instead of attending to our cards. And if you were thinking of asking the Padre, you know... " They were approaching the corner of the room where the screen stood, when a movement there as if Adam had hit it with his elbow made Miss Mapp turn round. The screen fell flat on the ground and within a yard of her stood Mr. Hopkins, the proprietor of the fish-shop just up the street. Often and often had Miss Mapp had pleasant little conversations with him, with a view to bringing down the price of flounders. He had little bathing-drawers on... "Hullo, Hopkins, are you ready, " said Irene. "You know Miss Mapp, don't you?" Miss Mapp had not imagined that Time and Eternity combined could hold so embarrassing a moment. She did not know where to look, but wherever she looked, it should not be at Hopkins. But (wherever she looked) she could not be unaware that Hopkins raised his large bare arm and touched the place where his cap would have been, if he had had one. "Good morning, Hopkins, " she said. "Well, Irene darling, I must be trotting, and leave you to your-" she hardly knew what to call it-"to your work." She tripped from the room, which seemed to be entirely full of unclothed limbs, and redder than one of Mr. Hopkins's boiled lobsters hurried down the street. She felt that she could never face him again, but would be obliged to go to the establishment in the High Street where Irene dealt, when it was fish she wanted from a fish-shop... Her head was in a whirl at the brazenness of mankind, especially womankind. How had Irene started the overtures that led to this? Had she just said to Hopkins one morning: "Will you come to my studio and take off all your clothes?" If Irene had not been such a wonderful mimic, she would certainly have felt it her duty to go straight to the Padre, and, pulling down her veil, confide to him the whole sad story. But as that was out of the question, she went into Twemlow's and ordered four pounds of dried apricots.
They sat in a sphere of quiet, save the sound of their breathing and the carriage's creaks and sways. Outside, the coachman yelled his encouragement to the steeds moving them forward. The whole carriage cocooned them in a peculiar world with the heaven's wool-thick mists pressing against the windows. Her hand didn't stop rubbing his neck, but she shifted her leg, bending her knee to rest her leg on his thigh. Her patten slipped off, dropping to the floor with a thud. Cyrus's head moved off the squab. 'Are you undressing for my benefit?' His smile's wicked curve played on her. From her stays to her drawers, everything was too tight, too much against her skin. Cyrus reached for her hand working his neck muscles. He brought it to his lips and kissed her knuckles thrice with slow adoration. 'We don't have to stop, ' she said, her voice breathy and quick. 'I'm sure you have more aches and pains.' Mid-kiss, he smiled against the back of her hand, his warm breath brushing her skin. 'There are so many ways a man could go with that.' Humor lightened his voice. 'But I'm sure you mean to provide tender care to my neck only.' She grinned at her unintended innuendo. This was the experience she craved-to flirt and tease, to kiss and touch. Cyrus put his lips to her wrist, marking her with hot kisses. A spangle of pleasure shot up her arm. 'You would break down the meanest soul with your soft heart.' He set her hand on the blanket's scratchy folds, his thumb caressing her wrist. 'High praise, indeed, sir.' Tinseled sparks danced across her skin, not letting her recover from those gentle touches, his lips to her arm. He stroked a lone finger on her hand that rested between them. 'And you don't care one bit that I'm the son of a Midland swine farmer, do you?' Cyrus asked the unexpected question, but his voice conveyed confidence in her answer. Was her chivalrous brawler showing a hidden spot? She peered at him, wanting a better view of his shadowed features. How was she to decipher this latest turn? The carriage bumped and rocked, and the outside candle lantern swung another shaft of light inside. His quicksilver stare pinned her. 'Miss Mayhew, have you ever wondered how a freehold farmer got to be in such a fine place?
Bliss?' I called. 'Yeah?' 'Check the drawers of the nightstand! She was playing with it in the middle of the night, and I think I remember taking it away and sticking it in there.' 'Okay!' Through the open door, I watched her circle around the edge of the bed. I walked in place for a few seconds, letting my feet drop a little heavier than necessary, then opened and closed the door like I'd gone back inside the bathroom. Then I hid in the space between the back of the bedroom door and the wall where I could just see through the crack between the hinges. She pulled open the top drawer, and my heartbeat was like a bass drum. I don't know when it had started beating so hard, but now it was all that I could hear. It wasn't like I was asking her to marry me now. I just knew Bliss, and knew she tended to panic. I was giving her a very big, very obvious hint so that she'd have time to adjust before I actually asked her. Then in a few months, when I thought she'd gotten used to the idea, I'd ask her for real. That was the plan anyway. It was supposed to be simple, but this felt... complicated. Suddenly, I thought of all the thousands of ways this could go wrong. What if she freaked out? What if she ran like she did our first night together? If she ran, would she go back to Texas? Or would she go to Cade who lived in North Philly? He'd let her stay until she figured things out, and then what if something developed between them? What if she just flat out told me no? Everything was good right now. Perfect, actually. What if I was ruining it by pulling this stunt? I was so caught up in my doomsday predictions that I didn't even see the moment that she found the box. I heard her open it though, and I heard her exhale and say, 'Oh my God.' Where before my mouth had been dry, now I couldn't swallow fast enough. My hands were shaking against the door. She was just standing there with her back to me. I couldn't see her face. All I could see was her tense, straight spine. She swayed slightly. What if she passed out? What if I'd scared her so much that she actually lost consciousness? I started to think of ways to explain it away. I was keeping it for a friend? It was a prop for a show? It was... It was... shit, I didn't know. I could just apologize. Tell her I knew it was too fast. I waited for her to do something-scream, run, cry, faint. Anything would be better than her stillness. I should have just been honest with her. I wasn't good at things like this. I said what I was thinking-no plans, no manipulation. Finally, when I thought my body would crumble under the stress alone, she turned. She faced the bed, and I only got her profile, but she was biting her lip. What did that mean? Was she just thinking? Thinking of a way to get out of it? Then, slowly, like the sunrise peeking over the horizon, she smiled. She snapped the box closed. She didn't scream. She didn't run. She didn't faint. There might have been a little crying. But mostly... she danced. She swayed and jumped and smiled the same way she had when the cast list was posted for Phaedra. She lost herself the same way she did after opening night, right before we made love for the first time. Maybe I didn't have to wait a few months after all. She said she wanted my best line tomorrow after the show, and now I knew what it was going to be.
I got my house shoes on and my white t-shirt My basketball shorts, I'm about to get some Squirt I brought my own cup with a little ice in it Cause I might mix it up and get nice in a minute They call me ghetto but I don't give a damn Cause I'm standin' on the corner with my cup in my hand Other hand down the front of my pants, scratchin' my balls They sag a little bit so you might see my drawers I'm on pause Man, I'm in my chill mode Just got paid and I got a little bill fold I'm feelin' good man, you can't tell me nothin' Then the homie Verbs roll up, yo what's up man? Nothin' homie with the spokes I'm on move Tryin' to get some jerky and some coconut juice Yeah I just cranked a couple miles and the sweat is droppin' down I was set around your town To Supowida and Pico made a right by some hills And now I'm at the store with MURS, we fienda chill But now a nigga awfully thirsty, that's for reals So Verbs spins till your thirst quencher on the grill But I ain't got no skrill But homie can you spot like we workin' on the bitches Make sure you get some Optimos and Swishers I'm about to go the distance with this eye And by the way my nigga can you get a can of Sprite? What you want from the store man? Let a nigga know But hurry up fool cause I'm ready to go I want a Snicker bar and a Dentyne Ice Well if you kick your boy down with some ends that'd be nice What you want from the store man? Let a nigga know But you need to hurry up cause I'm ready to go I want some chips I want some drink What you think this is? You better your ass up and come and roll with the kid Let me tell you how this ish went down Eatin' bags of chips and I'm in Mid-town Meetin' pretty ass broads that I met in Santa Mon- Ica, oh yeah and MURS And we ran out of the car I have solutions Let's walk to the store She said it would be faster if we up and use my car Aye aye aye aye, that would be a waste of gas and These siddity girls actin' like they got classes Two little group-ies Actin' hella boushe All they do is listen to Kid Cudi and Lupe Hold up I ain't even tryin' to clown but What I'm tryin' to say is they from the other side of town What's up man? These chicks ain't never been to the hood? They look a little shook like they think they too good Like my neighborhood store ain't up to they standards You can get a white tee or a new bandanna A bag of Gummy Bears and some new tube socks A pack of Trojan large and a fruit juice box Some new 2Pac and some bootleg DVDs Dominos, Doritos and some dirty magazines What more do you need? A nickel bag of weed? My boy got them sacks but they got a couple seeds And if that ain't good enough, you just ain't hood enough Get your ass on before my home girls fuck you up What you want from the store man? Let a nigga know But you need to hurry up cause I'm ready to go I want some cupcakes Bring me up somethin' fool You still owe me from the last time that shit ain't cool What you want from the store man? Let a nigga know But you need to hurry up cause I'm ready to go I want an Arizona Homie, the mango kind That's cool but I'm gonna have to keep the change this time