41 Endings: Cheever [with comment (mixed)]

I gave this to Ralphie and went home. [Only I didn’t say “Fudge”]

Then he went away, and, although the race was beginning, she saw instead the white snow and the wolves of Nascosta, the pack coming up the Via Cavour and crossing the piazza as if they were bent on some errand of that darkness that she knew to lie at the heart of life, and, remembering the cold on her skin and the whiteness of the snow and the stealth of the wolves, she wondered why the good God had opened up so many choices and made life so strange and diverse. [Pretty damn 19th century and pretty damn good. The next ‘experimental writer’ will actually write like Thomas Hardy]

She was always on the move, dreaming of bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches. [That’s very Brautigan, sir]

“I’m walking the dog,” I said cheerfully. There was no dog in sight, but they didn’t look. “Here, Toby! Here, Toby! Here, Toby! Good dog!” I called and off I went, whistling merrily in the dark. [I use this same tired move, only I say I’m “returning the movies.” A friend of mine “goes for donuts” and returns tired, with gin on her breath]

“Oh, we thought, signore,” he said, ‘that you were merely a poet.” [Like Yeats?]

The touchstone of their euphoria remained potent, and while Larry gave up the fire truck he could still be seen at the communion rail, the fifty-yard line, the 8:03, and the Chamber Music Club, and through the prudence and shrewdness of Helen’s broker they got richer and richer and lived happily, happily, happily, happily. [I got nothing. Excellent fucking ending line. That’s why you are you and I am me. Well done]

Then he put his head back on the pillow and died—indeed, these were his dying words, and the dying words, it seemed to me, of generations of storytellers, for how could this snowy and trumped-up pass, with its trio of travelers, hope to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream? [Conrad? I hope a PhD is studying how long these ending sentences—dissertation, dis?]

Nothing less will get us past the armed sentry and over the mountainous border. [A bit Hemingway, but it’s cool, we all do that]

Continue reading “41 Endings: Cheever [with comment (mixed)]”