Monica Carter, Writers' Retreat Fellow

Monica Carter, Writers' Retreat Fellow



[Applause] thank you so much how would you even sound this is good okay this is an excerpt from my novel eating the Apple which is about Muriel Weston a middle-aged alcoholic rare living in 1930s Manhattan and for your information Chumley's is a bar aerial frequence and Katz is a colleague my eyes opened and it took several seconds to recognize my own surroundings my own bed my own nightstand my own long nightmare the drapes did their best to ward off the Sun but it stopped its way into the room and tortured the dusty rose carpet the pain in my head was as piercing as the Sun and the stench of gin hung in the stale air why do I do this to myself the doors won't open an easy strove in study the glass of water on the nightstand she proceeded to the drapes and wasted them open sending dust out into the air to fall like confetti pretend linen dress was crisp and fresh reminding me of childhood school morning's infused with sunlight that promised a day full of learning new morals as bright and as clean as her dress but now my head pounded and all I could think about was how great all those laurels had become EB – Subaru with an denial undeniable world certitude picking up my clothes and straightening things that were already straightened it stinks in here I don't know how you can stand it she was in the closet now making noise with a hanger like a child three to play the triangle seriously Yuri it's disgusting is this the day good morning another style since I've been up for most of it I can assure you that there is nothing good about this morning are you planning on getting up or what's left of it don't bother answering you need to get up because you have a guest who is at this very moment waiting for your jin-seok presence what who in between the throbbing Chumley's and cats flashed in my mind like billboard signs outside a train window the afternoon with Clara rolled through quickly a blur of details I saw her stockings and smelled her perfume there were the cigarettes and the tension that excruciating awkward to my intention as I remember the events of yesterday I noticed my feet aching and fragments of the walk from Claire's to Chumley's world in my mind my head reminded me that when I couldn't walk anymore I started drinking had I called her I put this ear not like this not to shovel it mourn not unable to impress not with Edie here I could send her in here see she can see you in all your glory blows into stinking like a dockworker too hungover to hold the conversation let me see a true artist at work stop it oh you made your point you always do you at least let her know and we'll be a few minutes anything else sweetheart a drink perhaps her words floated in over the pulsating ink in my head I saw the door sweep over the carpet is she banged it shut this was the time I wanted to be a man alcohol pushed out of my pores like steam from a freight ship and it did make me stink like a dock hand but how much easier it would be if I were to be a man that muscles are melting and raring that they would scoff at feminine movements like dying on lip Rouge or pouring cream in the teeth the kind of man hungover as hell who could quickly erased the lost details of the night before with a splash of soapy water a brisk toothed Washington to damp hands with the disheveled hair this van would bully his headache till it barely pulse while he dressed in brown trousers a white shirt and a blue cricket sweater readying himself for the mornings chairmanship and this man would relish this situation a young woman in the next room his wife despising him for it and still knowing precisely how to go about handling being a woman was of no use to me now because nothing hides the wretched effects of a woman who drinks out of pity and desperation no this was time to settle as is the hangover stripped me of all art of this and anxiety made me grasp that all that was left was reality I couldn't compete with Claire's kittenish come here there I'm linking her feminine subtleties truth with the air new game I brushed my hair as I gazed in the mirror not worrying if I hit my age or flattered my profile I put on a men's shirt and pants my point edy charts in just as I was putting on my shoes to do the contention was scan of what I was wearing and sniggered she walked into the closet and after a few minutes emerged holding a brown a beige stripe tied the same time she had purchased her me about a year into our relationship for one of our more sectarian endeavors to Barbara's exclusive club she threw it on the bed next to me if you're going to play daddy at least wrestling she angrily patted on lip Rouge as she looked at me through her mirror and I won't be screwing off in case you were wondering no I'll be in the living room going over your play you know how good I am at that and I would leave the door over to the library so no one gets the wrong idea and just before she shut the door with her hand on the doorknob and facing forward she said we do understand what I mean don't you it was a question [Applause] and

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