July 31, 2009

Cocktail Talk: Benefit Performance

Happy last day of July, 2009. And, happy last day of the hottest work week Seattle’s ever had (that’s what the weather people are going on about at least). You know what really hot weeks like this lead to? Drinking, naturally. But you know what else hot weeks like this lead to? You got it: murder. And mayhem. And mangling. And mauling. And muzzles. All those devious and deadly “m” words. Which is why I thought there’d be nothing better to start the weekend then a quote or two from Richard Sale’s Benefit Performance. Not that this is the most murderous of Dell pocket-sized book (which are about the same size as Pocket Books), but it does take place in Hollywood, which is of course also hot, matching up with the theme of murder and temperature (or something along those lines–really, I just like the quotes).

To the left was the bar. The bar looked as good as the band sounded. “We’ll have a drink,” Kerry said.

“We’ll go up to the office and wait,” said Willie.

“You heard what the Bull of the Pampas said,” Kerry replied. “Clam isn’t here yet. I’ll buy you a drink.”

Willie nudged him with a round hard muzzle.

Kerry said meaningly, “Shoot me in front of all these people. It’s good for business and it stretches your neck.” He pushed the muzzle away boldly. Then he walked into the bar and ordered a Scotch old fashioned. When he glanced around, Willie had joined him, looking mad and frustrated. “You’ve been seeing too many movies,” Kerry said, amused.

A night club in the daytime is full of phantoms.

He took a breath and passed through the dusty light shaft as if it had depth and breadth. When he reached the bar, there was no daylight, and the dust danced invisibly. The bartender was working patiently behind his bar, designing his architecture of inebriation. He was cutting his lemons, putting his olives and cherries in their receptacles, anticipating Manhattans and Martinis.


–Richard Sale, Benefit Performance

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