Friday, June 29, 2012

Marvelous Statements Concerning New York #2

     In Thirty-sixth Street it is raining. The middle-aged man who lives in the brownstone directly across from us is in the habit of posing in his window with a curtain partly wrapped around his naked body. He keeps guppies or goldfish in a lighted tank, spends the whole day in a kimono ironing, and at odd moments goes to the front window and acts out somebody's sexual dream. If I could only marry him off to the old woman who goes through the trash baskets on Lexington Avenue, talking to herself. What pleasure she would have showing him the things she has brought home in her string bag -- treasures whose value nobody else realizes. And what satisfaction to him it would be to wrap himself in a curtain just for her.

                      -- William Maxwell, "The Thistles in Sweden"