Maybe you’re feeling a little dark, or loveless, or like you might want to get involved in a little small-time grift that might end up in a pool of bullets or blood or bourbon (ah, the three B’s). You could blame the holiday weekend and go on with your head down and your eyes tearful. You could go out and get involved with a dangerous person in a typhoon romance consisting of violence and betrayal. Or, you could just go read a little James M. Cain and live vicariously. To help you head down the last path (I am ready to help, my noirish pals), here are two quotes from his book Love’s Lovely Counterfeit. It’s probably not the best Cain, but still better probably than what you’re currently reading (well, I gotsta be honest), and it does have a little Midwestern politico and gangster flair I’m fond of, mighty fond I could say. If you need more than a read to flip-flop your mood, well, scroll down for some drinking ideas.
Ben, however, seemed neither surprised nor unduly upset. He righted the glasses, flipped a cherry in each, and poured the Manhattans. Setting one beside her, he said, “Here’s how,” and took a sip of his own, put it down. Then he took an envelope from the inner pocket of his coat and handed it to her. “Your share.”
“… Of what?”
“Of what we’re doing.”
He squashed his cigarette, looked at the palms of his hands. They had pips of moisture on them. He had the dizzy, half-nauseated feeling of a man who has been rocked to the depths by a woman, and knows it. He got up, crossed in front of her, went into the alcove for a drink. When he had downed a hooker of rye he looked and she was still there.
–James M. Cain, Love’s Lovely Counterfeit