This week’s ‘First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday’, hosted by ‘Bibliophile by the Sea’ is from ‘The Hours’ by Michael Cunningham, a book which I bought from my local charity shop, for the vast amount of 50 cents!
There are still the flowers to buy. Clarissa feigns exasperation (though she loves doing errands like this), leaves Sally cleaning the bathroom, and runs out, promising to be back in half an hour.
It is New York City. It is the end of the twentieth century. The vestibule door opens onto a June morning so fine and scrubbed Clarissa pauses at the threshold as she would at the edge of a pool, watching the turquoise water lapping at the tiles, the liquid nets of sun wavering in the blue depths. As if standing at the edge of a pool she delays for a moment the plunge, the quick membrane of chill, the plain shock of immersion. New York in its racket and stern brown decrepitude, its bottomless decline, always produces a few summer mornings like this; mornings invaded everywhere by an assertion of new life so determined it is almost comic, like a cartoon character that endures endless, hideous punishments and always emerges unburnt, unscarred, ready for more. This June, again, the trees along West Tenth Street have produced perfects little leaves from the squares of dog dirt and discarded wrappers in which they stand. Again the window box of the old woman next door, filled as it always is with faded red plastic geraniums pushed into the dirt, has sprouted a rogue dandelion.
Would you read on?