Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On at Bay, off at Castle Frank.

Caucasian woman, early 30s, wearing a long wool jacket with high collar, tweed cap cocked to the side and knee high leather boots. Her hair is lush, full spirals, sleek and healthy, her skin vibrant and blushed, like she smothered half an avocado onto her head while snacking on the rest.

The Devil Wears Prada: a Novel, Lauren Weisberger (Broadway)

Page 198:

We were to refer to ourselves in the third person--if it was absolutely crucial for us to refer to ourselves at all.

They were back in the clouds. She still didn't see how you could cut through the middle of them; above you, clouds; below you, clouds; over there, sun. It was as if she felt around the wall she would find a handle to pull and step out of her seat and onto the sky, like those figures from music videos sloshing across the top of a swimming pool. The cabin filled with the rush of recycled air. She thought it sounded like the little space heater from her old apartment, plugged into three lengths of extensions so she could carry it from room to room without turning it off.

She remembered the day they moved in. They were nauseous, at times having to sit down to catch their breath. The floor was uneven, the walls lopsided. From one end to the other the apartment appeared to sway like a crude set from an old film, Dr. Caligari. They sat on the floor with flattened ginger ale and Gravol, shredding a banker's box into strips to fold over on top of one another, shoving them under the legs of tables, wardrobes and their bed until the room stopped spinning, on solid ground at last. They napped, waking to the late summer sun setting across their entwined legs.

Her new apartment was smaller, if possible, but she'd left in a hurry, not needing much room, just closet space for her escalating wardrobe. And she rarely cooked at home anymore, or ate, come to think of it.

The flight attendant rolled through the curtains, the dinner cart empty save for a few tin trays. She leaned into the aisle hoping to snag a meal. A hand shot up from the seat in front of her, four fingers, flashing: 4-4-4. An ever present reminder of her goal size. Five more hours stuck in this can, she fumed, forcefully flashing a finger of her own against the back of the woman's chair: 1-1-1.

The head emerged over the seat, motionless skin framed in dark sunglasses.

"Darling," it spoke. "Let's not be too optimistic."


Siqi said...

I laud her courage for reading it in public. These books, and i mean these books, are often more tantalizing than I'd like to admit.

Julie Wilson said...

I have yet to see anyone reading a Harlequin. I keep hoping to see someone tucked into a good ol' bodice-ripper, you know? Right there between two strangers. That's what I want to see!

KK said...

What about a Hustler during rush hour between Museum and St. George stations? Would that count?

Julie Wilson said...

As long as there's text on the page. (Tattoos don't count.) ;)

Dana said...

Catching up on your blog . . . This conversation reminds me of the time I once saw a woman reading "Beauty's Release" by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) on the Bloor Danforth line. I'd forgotten all about that.

Julie Wilson said...

I saw a fellow reading a book on the nitty gritty of childbirth and it had the same sort of impact on the people around him as if he'd been reading erotica. What was interesting though was you could see that they wanted to ask him, maybe, "So, when's the due date?" Even though it was clearly a text about the reality of birthing babies, and very graphic, you could feel people struggling with how acceptable they found it, much in the same way people don't always know what they feel when coming upon a woman breastfeeding.