Site icon Alexander Hammil

Carla

In late afternoon Sherman rises, by 3 usually but by 4 without fail, and takes a raw egg broken into a bloody mary. The shaking stops and her eyes focus and the dull pounding of the tribes fades away. It’ll be back — the twilight hours are taboo, but the great convocations are held at midnight and noon and the great drums boom out the summonses for hours beforehand, enormous bass voices calling from the canyons.

She dines late, 8:30 or 9 as the drums begin their pounding, and by ten is out on the street, glittering among the young cynics or gliding haughtily past them in her town car. Two French martinis at dinner and a vermouth cocktail after, a glass of champagne or three or four at the club, Manhattans in the bars. Writers, wits, sybarites, bon vivants.

At 2 the convocations break apart and the celebrants pour through the city. Sherman cringes away from their paint and their feathers, their surgical steel, their sympathetic eyes. They stand near doorways and on street corners, talking quietly and falling silent when she approaches. As she passes they break into song, high and weird, always withdrawing invisibly into doorways or around corners when she turns to confront them, voices ringing just one block farther away.

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