My favorite author Donna Tartt has released her new novel after an excruciatingly long hiatus. I have been celebrating with lovely drinks, a new journal, fresh sheets, and long luxurious hours of soaking up her words.
“A wildneress of gilt, gleaming in the slant from the dust-furred windows: gilded cupids, gilded commodes and torchieres, and- undercutting the old-wood smell- the reek of turpentine, oil paint, and varnish. I followed him through the workshop along a path swept in the sawdust, past pegboards and tools, dismembered chairs and claw-foot tables sprawled with their legs in the air. Though a big man he was graceful, “a floater” my mother would have called him, something effortless and gliding in the way he carried himself. With my eyes on the heels of his slippered feet, I followed him up some narrow stairs and into a dim room, richly carpeted, where black urns stood on pedestals and tasseled draperies were drawn against the sun.”
She realized there was a pattern.
After kissing so many men.
It left an unpleasant taste in her mouth. A tiny chemical and biological reaction of rebellion against their male nature.
She said nothing as he squeezed her goodbye. Until next time.
She smiled because they never really know. Men never do.
I get lost in the blinking lights of the casino. I float away in the haze of cigarette smoke and my thoughts ping like the slot machines.
Sweet alcohol slid through my veins.
I wiped the sweat from my brow. And a man looked at me.
You are faking it, he said.
What do you mean?
You dance like you have confidence. We both know you don’t have any.
I sat down.
I lit up a cigarette and stared at him.
I must have a tell. I am a terrible gambler.
I am feeling lost. I’m desperate to hold onto the things that keep me grounded. A kind voice on the phone, my camera and cigarette in one hand, my coffee in the morning. When the world around me is shifting, an earthquake quaking below my feet, I dig my nails into my skin. Searching for gravity, for weight. Any sort of stability to keep my feet on the ground.