Thursday, May 28, 2009

Work in Progress: From the Favorite Books Bookshelf, #1

I’ve written a bit about my “favorite books bookshelf” and I thought that some excerpts of some of the favorites might be in order. Through next week, I'll run one piece per day. See if you can guess the book and/or author. No prizes, just the immense satisfaction of being incredibly smart and well-read. Answers will be provided next Thursday.


Down-stairs we came out through the first-floor dining-room to the street. A waiter went for a taxi. It was hot and bright. Up the street was a little square with trees and grass where there were taxis parked. A taxi came up the street, the waiter hanging out at the side. I tipped him and told the driver where to drive, and got in beside Brett. The driver started up the street. I settled back. Brett moved close to me. We sat close against each other. I put my arm around her and she rested against me comfortable. It was very hot and bright, and the houses looked sharply white. We turned out onto the Gran Via.

“Oh, Jake,” Brett said, “we could have had such a damned good time together.”

Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.

“Yes.” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

Okay—that one should be easy. But isn’t it brilliant how there’s that pause before Jake answers Brett? And not to make too much of it, but isn’t it also brilliant how that “Yes” has a period after it instead of a comma? I can just hear that clipped, sad, true word.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.