-copyright Hanna Lippmann, Berlin
The New Yorker’s got a story by T. Coraghessan Boyle up for free. The ending isn’t much to write home about, but there are a few precious gems for the language lovers out there. (I’ve always wondered what the word was for that stuttering, staccato downshifting sound an 18-wheeler makes as it blows past you on the road- apparently it’s “blatting.”) All highlights are mine. They’re just the phrases that sunk especially deep:
A truck went blatting by on the interstate, and then it was silent, but for the mosquitoes singing their blood song, while the rest of the insect world screeched either in protest or accord, I couldn’t tell which, thrumming and thrumming, until the night felt as if it were going to burst open and leave us shattered in the grass.
If it hadn’t been for the dog, we might have slept right on into the afternoon, because we’d been up late the night before, at a club called Gabe’s, where we’d danced, with the assistance of, well, rum and two little white pills Mallory’s friend Mona had given her, until we sweated through our clothes, and the muscles of our calves—my calves, anyway—felt as if they’d been surgically removed, hammered flat, and sewn back in place.
I handed her a coffee and the Life section of the newspaper. Time slowed. For the next hour there were no sounds but for a rustle of newsprint and the gentle soughing suck of hot liquid through a small plastic aperture.
It was hot. Grasshoppers flung themselves at the windshield like yellow hail. All you could smell was tar.
The sheep were right there, right in the yard, milling around and letting off a sweaty ovine stink…
It was a French film about three non-specifically unhappy couples who had serial affairs with one another and a troop of third and fourth parties, against a rainy Parisian backdrop that looked as if it had been shot through a translucent beach ball.
The heat never broke, not even after a series of thunderstorms rumbled in under a sky the color of bruised flesh.
Read the whole thing here.