Wednesday, August 27, 2008


From the complete lack of noise the physical attributes began to shift: rooms simultaneously felt inaccessibly large and oppressively small without the echoes of a thousand and one tokens of life to confirm where spaces began and ended. Lacking auditory substantiation, the eyes were uncertain where to focus, for there was no sound to follow, no source to seek out. She moved towards the window, gazing out, and saw more silence. The silence of the perfection of leafless trees, sedate lawns, unruffled sky. The silence of a world that seemed to have stopped moving -- but even that must cause a host of secondary noises, as the energy of constant forward propulsion is replaced by the whiplash of sudden cessation.

Money ... buys privacy, silence. The less money you have, the noisier it is; the thinner your walls, the closer your neighbors. ... The first thing you notice when you step into the house or apartment of a rich person is how quiet it is.
            -- Fran Lebowitz

Saw the trailer for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", and assumed it was a direct interpretation of "The Confessions of Max Tivoli." Was surprised to discover that Fitzgerald did in fact write said short story, but still hope that Andrew Sean Greer receives a very healthy percentage of film profits.

the desultory early loss of leaves

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"The Sisters Rica"

Six a.m. alarm. The sun risen over an hour earlier, breaking through the shades and starkly illuminating the room. The dog whined. The newspaper thudded to the front porch. Today, Monday, the fourteenth of July, Bastille Day, six a.m., today all would begin. His bridges were burnt. The fortnight of two weeks' notice at the bank was completed; over the weekend his wife had purchased a thorough stock of different colored pens, pencils, notepads, blank paper, a new typewriter ribbon, blank tapes for the dictaphone. At the bookstore he had acquired new copies of Merriam-Webster's and Roget's; and, just in case, old copies of each, also. The dog whined again. Time for the day to begin. He was to be a writer. He was a writer!

Eleven in the morning. Third cup of coffee. All pencils neatly sharpened. All pens arranged by color. A blank sheet of paper fed into the typewriter, upon which he forcefully typed out his opening line:
            A shot rang out.
The rest of the page was blank. He knew what came next, how the narcotics detective would weave back and forth between the grey areas of morality, guided by nothing more certain than an eye for detail and a nose for a scam, how the bewitching blonde would saunter saucily through the pages, leading the detective and the reader breathlessly onward into the labyrinth; how the weather would turn unseasonably cold and the denouement would be echoed by the flash of lightening illuminating a broken-down car by the side of the old highway, how the dancers would dance and how the smoke would rise in rings towards the ceiling, how the Scotch would slide over the ice, reflecting the glimmer of light in the darkened bar -- he knew all these things.

But all he had typed was:
            A shot rang out.

reading [will explain the humor in the story:]
The Paris Review: Georges Simenon
air conditioner out, duvet in

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We were very tired, we were very merry--

We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;

Rollin' Down to Old Maui
It's a damn tough life full of toil and strife
We whalermen undergo
And we don't give a damn when the gale is done
How hard the winds do blow
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Sound
With a good ship taut and free
And we don't give a damn when we drink our rum
With the girls of Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Drink Your Pudding! is on holiday &
will not be published on August 6 or 13.

reading ferry schedules

weather rain