What I Saw and How I Lied

Baby, I was in a war. Of course I get it. That's where all the bad in the world comes from. Guys who like being mean. I was that guy once. We were all that guy, for at least a minute. We had to be.

But I do know," he continued, "how to salvage an evening for a girl in a party dress." He stood up, bowed. Held out his hand. "May I have this dance?"

But while I'd be their daughter, while I'd eat the roast and come home from dates and wash the dishes, I would also be myself. I would love my mother, but I'd never want to be her again. I would never be what someone else wanted me to be. I would never laugh at a joke I didn't think was funny. I would never tell another lie. I would be the truth-teller, starting today. That would be tough.
But I was tougher.

Could it really happen like this?" he asked. "That a girl like you can make me feel..." "Make you feel what?" "Make me feel," he said.

Darling, I have a tip," Arlene said. "Never, ever wait for a man.

I always wanted a father. Any kind. A strict one, a funny one, one who bought me pink dresses, one who wished I was a boy. One who traveled, one who never got up out of his Morris chair. Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. I wanted shaving cream in the sink and whistling on the stairs. I wanted pants hung by their cuffs from a dresser drawer. I wanted change jingling in a pocket and the sound of ice cracking in a cocktail glass at five thirty. I wanted to hear my mother laugh behind a closed door.

I assume you're a refugee from the dance inside." "I escaped the enemy, captain," I said. I could see the side of his, and his smile. "Ah," he said. "At long last, a promotion.

I breathed in and out, perfume and smoke, perfume and smoke, and we lay like that for a long time, until I heard the seagulls crying, sadder than a funeral, and I knew it was almost morning.

I don't have a story," I said. "I'm still waiting for one.

I drove in last night,' he said. 'I couldn't sleep, it was too hot. So I went outside. I was feeling melancholy. Then I danced with a beautiful girl, and I felt better. What's your story?

I let Wally go yesterday,” Mr. Forney said. “I just want you to know that.” “You fired him?” “Of course. Fraternizing with hotel guests is cause for dismissal.” “But—” “We have high standards for the hotel, Miss Spooner. That includes employees.” “Yeah,” I said. “I’ve seen your high standards up close, Mr. Forney. I think you like rolling in your stinky high standards. Especially when you can kick a couple of guests out of the hotel because they have the wrong last name.” He

I loved all the parts of him, even the ones I didn't understand.

I loved him like a fever. Then he left. He kicked through love like it was dust and he kept on walking.

It had never occurred to me that I could do something without permission. 'May I' was a way of life for a girl like me.

I took off one of the high-heeled sandals, the white sandals my mother prized, and threw it into the pool. That's when I noticed him. He was on the other side of the pool, dressed in a white shirt and khaki pants. He had lowered the chair until it was flat, and he was lying back on it, face to the night sky, smoking a cigarette. He raised himself on his elbows and looked at the pool like he owned it. "Well?" he said. I didn't say anything... "Aren't you going to let the other shoe drop?" I took off the other one and threw it in. "My kind of women," he said.

I understood the word 'swoon'. It felt that way, like 'sweep' and 'moon' and 'woo', all those words smashed together in one word that stood for that feeling, right then.

Just one dance. Just one. That’s all I wanted. I know now how you can take one step and you can’t stop yourself from taking another. I know now what it means to want. I know it can get you to a place where there’s no way out. I know now that there’s no such thing as just one. But I didn’t know it then.

Thats what it was, a hole I could never fill. It would be bottomless.

May I" was a way of life for a girl like me.

So here I was. I would live with Joe and Mom. I had no place else to go. Joe would carve the roast on Sundays. He would put up the Christmas tree.

Truth, justice...I always thought they were absolutes, like God. And Mom. And apple pie.
But you could make apple pie from Ritz crackers. You could make cakes without sugar. We learned how to fake things, during the war.

What did I owe you, Peter? Truth and justice? If judges would judge, if lawyers wouldn’t trick, if reporters would tell what really happened instead of what sold papers. Fat

You're a watcher, aren't you?" Peter said. "I can tell. You watch and listen. But you know what I'm betting. The thing you can't see so clear is yourself." I was startled. Here I was, trying to come up with something to say about the weather, and he said something real. "What do you mean?" I asked. "You don't walk like a girl who knows how pretty she is, for one thing. That's a crying shame.