Monday, August 24, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Street by Ann Petry, excerpt eight)

from The Street by Ann Petry:

After Min hung the cross over the bed, Jones took to sleeping in the living room. He could no longer see the cross, but he knew it was there and it made him restless, uneasy.

Finally it seemed to him that he met it at every turn. Wherever he looked, he saw a suggestion of its outline. His eyes added a horizontal line to the long cord that hung from the ceiling light and instantly the cross was dangling in front of him. He sought and found the shape of a cross in the window panes, in chairs, in the bars on the canary’s cage. When he looked at Min, he could see its outline as sharply as though it had been superimposed on her shapeless, flabby body.

He drew an imaginary line from her head to her feet and added another crosswise line, and thus, whenever he glanced in her direction, he saw the cross again. When she spoke to him, he no longer looked at her for fear he would see, not her, but the great golden cross she had hung over the bed.

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