infected me

“I went to the office the next day and sat at my desk all morning in a dreamy state somewhere between fantasy, indecision and madness. After lunch, I called home, hoping a few words from Nancy would dispel my uneasy heart. After three rings, I hung up the phone. I couldn’t talk to her. I called Cindy’s number. Madness had infected me completely.”

— Lord Malinov, Flowers of Malinov

side to side

“Kathryn stood back a moment, pondering, feasting her senses on the strong youth. Her nerves trembled as her imagination rollicked over the lean limbs and firm jaw. She reached for the light just behind his head and carefully unscrewed the bulb, turning it slowly until it fell loose into her hand. She put the glass piece down on the end table, where it rolled silently from side to side. Kathryn went back over to the front door and put her purse down on the floor.”

— Lord Malinov, Flowers of Malinov

ale purling

Come, come, says Mr Vincent, plain dealing. He’ll find himself on the horns of a dilemma if he meddles with a bull that’s Irish, says he. Irish by name and irish by nature, says Mr Stephen, and he sent the ale purling about, an Irish bull in an English chinashop. I conceive you, says Mr Dixon. It is that same bull that was sent to our island by farmer Nicholas, the bravest cattlebreeder of them all, with an emerald ring in his nose.

James Joyce, Ulysses

noticed nothing

There she stood and blinked, cheeks aflame, hair awry, her eyes passing over me as lightly as they did over the furniture, and as she listened or spoke (to her mother who was telling her to come to lunch with her at the Chatfields—neither Lo nor Hum knew yet what busybody Haze was plotting), she kept tapping the edge of the table with the slipper she held in her hand. Blessed be the Lord, she had noticed nothing!

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

sultry look

“There was some movie I’d seen, I don’t know when, about an artist, Bridgette Bardot, I think, wearing black chino pants that hugged her hips and a white cotton shirt with one shirt tail hanging out and a thick streak of paint across the breast pocket and a long brush in her slender fingers and a wisp of hair reaching across the sultry look in her eyes.”

— Lord Malinov, Flowers of Malinov

from somewhere

“In the beginning, Delphi and Rita seemed inseparable and for a long time, that was the truth. They had obviously been friends for a serious stretch of time, although I can’t really say for how long. The friendships of youth burn with a white-hot flame, a few months equivalent to as many years among those whose life has taken a solid, unchanging form. I think they knew each other in high school, or when they were of high school age, but I couldn’t quite get their stories to jibe. I think they met in Vegas. Delphi may have led Rita to Dallas but I’m not even sure Rita had ever been to Vegas. So many stories subsist beneath the surface, never to be explained. Delphi wore a turban. They came from somewhere.”

— Lord Malinov, Song of Songs

dissipated haze

“The glass doors of the hotel bar opened into the night. Kevin looked up, hoping. A heavy man in a black wool coat stepped inside. Kevin watched as the man brushed a thin powder of snow from his broad shoulders. The gust of cold air reached deep inside, pushing the wispy column of smoke into a dissipated haze. Kevin picked up the filter of his cigarette and ground it into the dust of the ashtray. He looked at his watch again.”

— Lord Malinov, Journals of Lord Malinov