The massage was about three-quarters of the way through when Galina stopped what she was doing and disappeared, leaving me [...]
"No, it is not only our fate but our business to lose innocence, and once we have lost that, it [...]
The blaring music is only background noise to my mumbled senses. Effie slaps a card down on the cheap plastic [...]
"A short but deeply researched, dark, intense biography... studded with original aperçus about the art of biography, the nature of literary influence, and the importance of place to a writer's sensibility." -- Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe
The massage was about three-quarters of the way through when Galina stopped what she was doing and disappeared, leaving me face down and naked on the table, without a word of explanation.
Bafflement gave way to blessed relief that her thumbs had, for a moment, ceased bullying me into a state of relaxation. I cautiously released my shoulders from their tightly braced position around my ears.
Is that . . . smoke?
The sharp smell of a freshly ignited cigarette wafted over to the table. Staring down at the dingy carpet through the hole of my donut-shaped headrest, I realized, stupefied, that my masseuse was taking a smoke break.read more...