Pull Down Vanity, and Other Stories

Pull Down Vanity, and Other Stories

Pull Down Vanity, and Other Stories

Pull Down Vanity, and Other Stories

Excerpt

Children, dogs unnerved him. And the sun, inimical (he had forgotten his dark glasses, of course), found the narrow treeless gap of the street, his pale watery eyes. It was the last anguish of the sun, Warren knew, but the motionless coming of dark would be no better; open windows and the noise of fans would not tease from the brown, fading air coolness; and faces all night, leaning from windows, would breathe out, audibly and with effort, the pulse of their sleeplessness.

Meanwhile, they were all outside: the shrill kids and runty dogs (but their shrillness broke against the persistence of heat), the shirtless fathers watching the brief rest of their hairy arms, the flushed women in doorways, their supper dishes done, not daring to think yet--sleep.

It was as if the airless houses had been turned inside out, and Warren had the sense of trespassing before each stoop; a hundred privacies gave sullenly before his invasion. Each time, the children . . .

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