Friday, December 3, 2010

A passage from In the Cut, as requested

Here's a passage I found amusing, which contains no spoilers:
The waitress brought the food. Mr. Reilly's dinner looked delicious. It really was Thanksgiving on a roll. I don't know why I doubted it would be -- two slices of white bread piled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams and gravy topped with a breast of turkey and two wings. I didn't want to watch him eat it. I'd once eaten crabs with him at a restaurant at the South Street Seaport and I haven't eaten crabs since. I don't begrudge erotic pleasure, whatever its source. I don't even begrudge Reilly his crunching and chewing and slicing and gnawing, but I didn't want to watch it.

"I'm booking, man," Cornelius said abruptly. Before I could say anything, he was in the street.

Reilly frowned at me, wiping his hands delicately on his napkin. "Never a good idea," he said.

"What's that?" I asked, knowing very well what he was going to say.

"Mingling," he said. "It makes a mess of things." He picked up a wing of the turkey and sucked the joint.

"Oh," I said, furious. "That argument. Too bad there isn't a Kentucky Fried Chicken nearby."

"There is," he said, lifting a tiny stem of a cranberry from the rim of his platter and flicking it to the table. "On Fourteenth Street."

"Would you like to try some of my meatloaf?" Pauline asked him. He would.

No wonder she ends up with marks on her ass from the sink, I thought. I ate the tuna fish sandwich that was so conventional that I began to feel sorry for it, so sorry for it that I ate it all, even eating what one of my students calls the garnage. We divided the check evenly and Reilly and Pauline made a date to go to the new restaurant in Chelsea where the waiters wear gaucho chaps and hats with dangling felt balls.

We left Mr. Reilly at his car and Pauline walked with me as far as Waverly Place, where we kissed goodbye.

As I walked home, I thought about the new poem in the Number Four subway. I have become so paranoid in the last month that I believe that the Poetry in Motion placards are messages for me. Not in a metaphorical sense, but literally selected for me by someone who has managed to gain influence over the Transit Authority Selection Committee. The new poem is a tanka by Akiko Yosano. "Now/Thinking back/On the course of my passion,/I was like one blind,/Unafraid of the dark." For me, right?


  1. Thanks for posting this. It a) makes me want to red the whole book and b) reminds me of Liz Hildreth's interview w/ Jason Koo where she quotes his lines, "I’ll be sitting at home, eating a tuna salad/ sandwich, when the awareness kicks in: Well this is a little sad./
    The 2 PM light, weak through the trees, the crooked/ cloth napkin on my lap, crusted stains in the creases," and then they discuss the peculiar sadness of sandwiches.

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  3. Oh--and here's the link: and I meant "read" not "red" the whole book, obvs.