Tuesday, May 7, 2024

the last book I ever read (A Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone, excerpt two)

from A Hall of Mirrors by Robert Stone:

Another bourbon – thank you – and a cigarette – maybe if he took a shower again – yes – but quite suddenly he saw very clearly a girl with gray eyes which were very sad and friendly, who smiled ruefully around a front tooth which had been broken in a fall in the wash room of Knickerbocker Hospital the day after a baby named Rheinhardt was born to her – who used to break into a run suddenly while they were walking in the street, who liked to laugh and cried because she couldn’t play the piano and Rheinhardt taught her to play a little of Chopin and who once wrestled with this Rheinhardt when he was berserk and paranoid with pot and he had slapped her three times until she cried from the pain and then put her hands on his shoulders and said, “All right, all right,” and turned her face away – and suddenly he was sitting bolt upright on the hotel bed, trembling, his mouth open in shocked surprise at the fact that his insides had been ripped out and stamped on and stuffed down his throat in the half-moment since he had stopped thinking of snow and Central Park.

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