Sunday, October 19, 2008

Farewell, My Lovely, 239

After a while there was a faint smell of ocean. Not very much, but as if they had kept this much just to remind people this had once been a clean open beach where the waves came in and creamed and the wind blew and you could smell something besides hot fat and cold sweat.

The Little Sister, ?

I've got a few troubles. The only reason I'm driving this car with you beside me is that I've got so much trouble a little more will seem like icing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Farewell, My Lovey, ? (somewhere near the beginning)

Even on Central Avenue, not the quietest dressed street in the world, he looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

The Little Sister, ?

The corridor which led to it had a smell of old carpet and furniture oil and the drab anonymity of a thousand shabby lives.

The High Window, ?

Out of the apartment houses come women who should be young but have faces like stale beer; men with pulled-down hats and quick eyes that look the street over behind the cupped hand that shields the match flame; worn intellectuals with cigarette coughs and no money in the bank; fly cops with granite faces and unwavering eyes; cokies and coke peddlers; people who look like nothing in particular and know it, and once in a while even men that actually go to work. But they come out early, when the wide cracked sidewalks are empty and still have dew on them.

The High Window, ?

And there are ratty hotels where nobody except people named Smith and Jones sign the register and where the night clerk is half watchdog and half pander.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Long Goodbye, ?

A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness.