Friday, 9 May 2014

...of diversion

They're both of them peevish tonight, whippy as sheets of glass improperly annealed, ready to go smash at any indefinite touch in a whining matrix of stresses -
'Poor Roger, poor lamb, he's having an awful war.'
'All right,' his head shaking, a fuming b or p that refuses to explode, 'ahh, you're so clever aren't you,' raving Roger, hands off the wheel to help the words out, windscreen wipers clicking right along, 'you've been able to shoot back now and then at the odd flying buzz bomb, you and the boy friend dear old Nutria -'
'Quite right, and all that magnificent esprit you lot are so justly famous for, but you haven't brought down many rockets lately have you, haha!' gurning his most spiteful pursed smile up against wrinkled nose and eyes, ' any more than I, any more than Pointsman, well who's that make purer than whom these days, eh my love?' bouncing up and down in the leather seat.
By now her hand's reaching out, about to touch his shoulder. She rests her cheek on her own arm, hair spilling, drowsy, watching him. Can't get a decent argument going with her. How he's tried. She uses her silences like stroking hands to divert him and hush their corners of rooms, bedcovers, tabletops - accidental spaces... Even at the cinema watching that awful Going My Way, the day they met, he saw every white straying of her ungauntleted hands, could feel in his skin each saccade of her olive, her amber, her coffee-coloured eyes. He's wasted gallons of paint thinner striking his faithful Zippo, its charred wick, virility giving way to thrift, rationed down to a little stub, the blue flame sparking about the edges in the dark, the many kinds of dark, just to see what's happening with her face. Each new flame, a new face.

[Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon, T.]

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