Velvet surveying tonight‘s bedtime reading. Good-night.
Short stories by Zadie Smith. I didn‘t love the collection. The stories seemed random to me, no connection or theme. And the endings of a bunch of them seemed harsh and sudden.
I told him a story about a party I once attended, at which a man called me by another woman‘s name all night, mistaking me for her, maybe because she did the same sort of work as me. I didn‘t correct him, though we had met many times before. I tried to find it in myself to be insulted, to feel as others feel, to care as they would care, but instead I felt a strange lightness, like I‘d given myself the slip for the evening.
She walked through the city struck by these strange partnerships of the soft and the hard. In shops, in restaurants, in line at the CVS. She always had the same question. Why in God‘s name are you still married to this asshole? Lady, your children are grown. You have your own credit cards. You‘re the one with life force. Can‘t you see he‘s just a piece of the furniture? It‘s not 1850. This is New York. Run, baby, run!
They said, This might look like a war between men and women, but what this really is is the last siege of a ruling class. See Brett up there making that little bitchbaby face? See that? That‘s the face a baby makes when you try and take his rattle away. We‘ve had many, many babies so we‘re familiar. America being the rattle in this analogy.
... on one occasion, a book, held only for the duration of the photograph and – though perhaps only I noticed this – upside down. As they prep, each wears a heartbreaking pair of plain black spectacles. Once each girl is ready to pose, she hands her glasses to her sister. It is easy to say they make being young look like hard work, but wasn‘t it always hard work, even if the medium of its difficulty was different?
I have a new appreciation for short stories. It‘s such a different platform that a novel. Without having to worry so much about plot and characters they pack a real punch when making a statement about the state of our world. Zadie Smith is brilliant. I loved this book so much.