Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Softly Sniffling Reader, No. 3

Caucasian woman, early 20s, wearing a sleek black coat, collar high. I didn't recognize her immediately, we all pile on and throw ourselves into any opening, making way for the circus of people who'd sooner swing from the back doors than wait for the next car. I hear her sniffle and smile, looking forward and placing my pad on my lap, pen holding my place, in full view.

Brick Lane, Monica Ali (Scribner)

Page 275:

She went into the bedroom and observed her husband heaped in the middle of the bed, listened to his innocent snores. Then she found the letters, bundled together and wrapped like holy relics, inside her underwear drawer, and took them out of the room.

She sat on the edge of the schoolyard, to the other side of the gravel track. Football players ran through tires and sprinted the length of the field while she drew thick black strokes on her pale ankle under the cover of low tree branches. She pulled up her black hood so even the tiniest sliver of sunshine couldn't kiss her cheeks. They'd made out here for the first time, skipping out on rehearsal for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Coming here to press against one another on the cold ground, it was the only time they had unchaperoned. And she'd allowed herself to crave it. Now he wanted to meet, to talk, his letter had said. She rolled the piercing in her tongue, an involuntary impulse since they'd gotten them done together last week. This morning, she saw him laughing in the hall, opening his mouth so The Soprano could see the empty cavern. What a wimp, she thought. She took a swig from her Listerine and tossed the empty into the brush. Jesus H., she swore, and reached in to retrieve the bottle, brushing loose grass from its lip, letting the form cradle into her palm. She jumped when he kicked the sole of her police boot. She refused to look at him. (You will not cry. You will not cry.)


Anonymous said...

I had heard you interviewed on the radio some time ago and jotted down the web site as I drove. Finally, some quiet time at work to check it out.

What a marvellous concept! Sort of voyeuristic but in a non-threatening way.

I never read novels while riding the TTC so I guess I'll never make it in your blog.

All the best.


Julie Wilson said...

That's great! Glad you stopped by. I'm looking forward to a new year, back on transit after a break for the holidays. Probably not surprising that I got a fair number of journals as presents!