Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let Me Read the Palm of Your Hand...

Here are a few quotes from Apart from Love, told in Anita's voice. She brings up some memories that haunt her, and an urge to unveil what the future holds:

"Years ago—before being hired as a cleaning lady—ma had worked in Venice Beach, down at the boardwalk, as a fortune teller.
I remember her eyes. They looked downright stunning under the false eyelashes. As part of her gig, she would read the palm of my hand and like, shake her head with great concern for my future, so the hoop earrings would tinkle, as would the beaded necklaces and the jangle bracelets. Then her fake crystal ball would light up, at which time she would take firm hold of my hand and like, raise it up inside her fist, to show the crowd gathering around us how my thumb looked, how stubby it was, and how my lifeline, there on the palm of my hand, had an unusual, split end...
But then, she didn’t explain what the trouble was, exactly, with the split end of my lifeline; which left me kinda wondering. For sure ma couldn’t tell, back then, that I would hook up with someone like Lenny: a married man who had a son a year older than me."

When Anita recalls her ma in later times, times of loneliness, when her marriage seems to fall apart, she wishes her ma was here: 

"Even if she would give me a good slap, still, at least I could feel a touch, which would be better than this sorry state of being here, in the back of beyond."

And later still, Anita brings back the street wisdom of her ma, using it as a way of bracing herself against the harsh realities of life:

"Like ma used to say, when she called her customers to offer her usual special—I mean, the three dollar palm reading special—she said, No, really? No warmth left? Trust me, it just looks that way—till you touch them embers. Red hot passion like that, it can’t never die out. But see, it can change its color and blacken him inside, and like, turn to hate, or contempt, or jealousy.”

In this last quote, I had fun crafting the phrase 'her usual special.' 

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family saga ★

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