She came back with the glass and her fingers, cold from holding the glass, touched mine, and I held them for a moment and then let them go slowly, as you let go of a dream when you wake with the sun in your face and you have been in an enchanted valley.
She approached me with enough sex appeal to stampede a businessmen's lunch and tilted her head to finger a stray, but not very stray, tendril of softly glowing hair. Her smile was tentative, but could be persuaded to be nice.
The living room was still dark, because of the heavy growth of the shrubbery the owner had allowed to mask the windows. I put a lamp on and mooched a cigarette. I lit it. I stared down at him. I rumpled my hair which was already rumpled. I put the old tired grin on my face.
Kind of smart guesser, ain't you, young man? Can't wait for folks to get their mouth open hardly. I'm sorry, Mrs. Morrison. This is an important matter to us— This here young man don't seem to have no trouble keepin' his mouth in place. He's married, I said. He's had practice.
I merely say that all reading for pleasure is escape, whether it be Greek, mathematics, astronomy, Benedetto Croce, or The Diary of the Forgotten Man. To say otherwise is to be an intellectual snob, and a juvenile at the art of living.
I did it for you. I took in a pint of bourbon with me. She's a charming middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud and if she has washed her hair since Coolidge's second term, I'll eat my spare tire, rim and all.
A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can't predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.
I smelled of gin. Not just casually, as if I had taken four or five drinks of a winter morning to get out of bed on, but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nosedived off the boat deck. The gin was in my hair and eyebrows, on my chin and under my chin. It was on my shirt. I smelled like dead toads.
I don't mind your showing me your legs. They're very swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintace. I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter nights.
The place was horrible by daylight. The Chinese junk on the walls, the rug, the fussy lamp, the teakwood stuff, the sticky riot of colors, the totem pole, the flagon of ether and laudanum - all this in the daytime had a stealthy nastiness, like a fag party.
Do you like orchids?' ‘Not particularly,' I said. The General half closed his eyes. ‘They are nasty things. Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men. And their perfume has the rotten sweetness of a prostitute.' I.
This was more like it, a narrowed cluttered little shop stacked with books from floor to ceiling and four or five browsers taking their time- putting thumb marks on the new jackets. Nobody paid any attention to them.
What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell.
Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor.
I've found that there are only two kinds [of slang] that are any good: slang that has established itself in the language, and slang that you make up yourself. Everything else is apt to be passé before it gets into print.
She wore a steel gray business suit and under the jacket a dark blue shirt and a man's tie of lighter shade. The edges of the folded handkerchief in the breast pocket looked sharp enough to slice bread.