Saturday, August 20, 2022

the last book I ever read (David Plante's Difficult Women: A Memoir of Three, excerpt thirteen)

from Difficult Women: A Memoir of Three (New York Review Books Classics) by David Plante:

That evening in my room we watched television, one stupid programme after another. In her nightgown, Germaine sat in an armchair and knitted; I lay on my bed, my feet at the top, my head at the bottom, pillows under my elbows. Germaine kept getting up to change the channels, saying, “What shit American television is.” She came to the musical The Sound of Music, and we watched a bit of it, both saying, “This is awful, awful, awful,” and Germaine changed to other channels, but more awful programmes appeared, and we always came round to The Sound of Music, which, after all, we watched. The governess to a family of unhappy Austrian children wants to make them happy, and she does this by contriving clothes for all of them out of the flowered curtains of her bedroom; happy in their new clothes, they go out into the whole of Switzerland, singing. I saw Germaine lower her knitting to her lap as she watched the governess lead the children up into the green mountains, all of them singing to the sky. Then she turned to me, her lower lip stuck out; tears were dripping down her face, and she wiped them away with the back of her hand. She said, “This is shit,” and got up and changed the channel.

We slept with the door open between our rooms.

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