Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann Beattie (Vintage Contemporaries 1976)

Her hair always crackles with electricity. She puts hair spray on the brush, hoping this will cure it. George Harrison is her favorite Beatle. She never had to wear braces. She likes expensive, delicately scented soaps. Her hair is long and wavy. She was so thrilled when she got her own car, even if it was an old car. She got Bs in college. The first drink she ever tasted was at eighteen, a rum collins. Now she drinks scotch. She feels sorry for giraffes. She doesn't care what's on her pizza, as long as it isn't anchovies. She loves Caesar salad, however, and was surprised to find out that crushed anchovies were in it. She likes Jules and Jim. She thought about being a filmmaker. She saw Otto Preminger on the street. Of course she was sure. She stirred tiny slivers of meat, almonds, and vegetables in her wok, grew violets the same colors as her round, pastel bars of soap, showered in water too hot for him. She asked, once, why May Day was celebrated. She does not remember names or dates well and is not apologetic about it. She has big feet. Big, narrow feet. Butchers are kind to her, men in gas stations clean her windshield.

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