Friday, May 22, 2015

the last book I ever read (T. C. Boyle's The Harder They Come, excerpt four)

from The Harder They Come by T. C. Boyle:

That was all she heard, because in the next moment she had the phone down on the kitchen floor and was grinding it underfoot—they could track you, track you anywhere, the phone like a homing device, like your own little flag of surrender. For a moment she was too angry to think, and if she just kept grinding the phone under her heel and if the plastic frame of it was gouging the linoleum floor Adam’s grandmother had kept up through all her failing years, well, she would worry about that later. At the moment, she couldn’t seem to catch her breath, she was so upset. She kept telling herself to calm down even as the dog, with his dog’s radar, sensed that something was amiss and began to whine, his nails tapping out an elaborate distress signal on the slick linoleum.

As soon as she’d had a chance to catch her breath she began to rethink things. Already she regretted smashing the phone. Yes, the number had been compromised, no doubt about that—obviously the police had hacked the phone records to get her cell number, but without a phone how would her clients reach her? How would she schedule appointments? How would she live? Even now people could be calling her—or the home phone, where they’d just get a message. Which she couldn’t receive and couldn’t answer. And if she didn’t call back, they’d just go to somebody else, and there went her business. She looked down at her hands and saw they were shaking.

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