Ernest James

Sinks like White Elephants

“Are you sure?”
“I’ve never been more sure of anything.”
“Yesterday you said no. You said it was ‘kitsch’.”
“I know. But in the night, I imagined it and now I want it.”
“We should see first, how it will look.”
“Yes.” She went out to the other room and returned with a piece of plastic, laminate flooring, pale maple-look-alike.
“Is there enough?”
“Yes. There is always enough. And when there isn’t enough, we can get more.”
“More, then.”
“Yes.”
“Is there more Gatorade? I put one in the freezer for later.”
“I will look. Yes, your Gatorade is here.”
“Bring it to me.”
She got the Gatorade.
“Just set it on the counter. I will drink it later. It needs to thaw.”
“Yes. It is a Gatoradesicle.”
“Did you say something?”
“No. I never say anything.”

——————

Dusty Miller

At the little town of Cuyamaca, in California, there is a particularly comfortable restaurant beside a store and bait shop. There are, indeed, few houses, for the conflagration of the forest some years earlier destroyed much of the town and the restaurant’s only competition. The restaurant and the small town around it are, as many Saturday Harley Bikers will remember, seated upon the top of a small beautiful mountain valley beside a blue lake—a lake that it behooves every local trout fisherman to visit. The shore of the lake presents an unbroken array of fishermen and of this order, every category, from Opie in jeans and a shirt, standing beside his dad to the passionate afishionado in hip waders of the newest fashion, with his chalk-white zinc-oxide covered nose, a hundred hand tied flies decorating his faded olive-green hat, and a dozen rods in an open case beside him, to the old fisherman of an earlier day, with his simple rod and coffee can of worms faded-looking yellow lettering upon the red can tilted awkwardly to keep the bait in shade. One of the fishermen at Lake Cuyamaca, however, is famous, even historical, being distinguished from many of his companions by an air both of confidence and of maturity. In this region, in the month of June, San Diego fishermen are extremely numerous; it may be said, indeed, that Lake Cuyamaca assumes at this period some of the characteristics of a tourist destination. There are sights and sounds which evoke a vision, an echo, of Yellowstone and Yosemite. There is a flitting hither and thither of screaming children, a rustling of brand-new tents and water-proof jackets, a rattle of coolers and beer cans, a sound of high-pitched voices at all times. You receive an impression of these things at the excellent deck of the Cuyamaca Lodge and are transported in fancy to the shores of Colorado’s Grand Lake. But at  Cuyamaca Lodge, it must be added, there are other features that are much at variance with these suggestions: surf-jam wearing geriatric former frat boys and their bleached-blonde over-weight and under-dressed tube-topped girlfriends, who look like any of Fellini’s cynical, tired whores; gray haired and balding Corvette drivers, their middle-age crises embodied by their red Corvettes and pre-pubescent girlfriends; little Mexican boys and girls, walking about held by the hand, with their moms and dads; a view of the sunny crest of Cuyamaca Peak and the picturesque burned towers of ancient pines.

——————

I like Hemingway, but he’s an easy parody. I dislike James, but he’s also an easy parody. This was fun!
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