23 September 2011

Just a Taste of 'A Kiss...'

[WARNING: Today's post contains some material of an adult nature. Please be so advised before you read. I would also appreciate your feedback on how to deal with such material in the future.]

Just because it's Friday: a short excerpt from the end of Book One of A Kiss Before You Leave Me, which is entitled 'Seeing Someone':

It’s hours later. Two cars have made their way from Mitzi’s to Miranda’s, the street winding so elaborately as they approached their destination that the driver of the second car might have plowed into the rear end of the first if he hadn’t known exactly where it would stop. Instead, he’s parked two hundred yards short of the first car. His vision, of course, is perfect, but his view is obstructed by the stand of trees that wraps around three sides of the duplex just ahead. He sees the man in full profile, lounging in the driver’s seat; the woman’s profile appears and disappears by turns. 
At least they don’t appear to be touching. 
And they aren’t going in. 
There’s no way the solitary watcher can hear the conversation in the first car. But he doesn’t need to. It’s bad enough to watch and wait. 
The man in the other car sees them go inside, and he feels his terrible solitude, as if for the first time. He tells himself there’s nothing more to see. He’s right, and he’s wrong.... 
Back at his own house, once hers, once theirs, alone, in what was once her favorite chair, he reaches for the phone, snatches up the receiver, punches buttons without having to think or look, listens, waits, breathless, as the call clicks through and the ringing starts, whirring in his ear, one, two, Vince counting, three, four, giving her ten, ten to pick up he decides, she’s there, she’s there, seven, she’s not fucking him yet, eight, not yet, nine, no, ten, she’s fucking him, and he slams the receiver down, seeing nothing in his darkened living room, seeing everything as it happens a dozen streets away, hearing the intake of her breath, tasting mouths, smelling perfume and cologne, Vince’s own breath returning now, fast, urgent, as if to hold it back might mean missing one detail, hungry now, panting, watching, in his way, watching her hands stroke the new man and the man’s stroke her, watching them fumble with wool and silk, push the fabric aside—feeling, tasting, smelling flesh itself—panting now, all three—a part of Vince recoils but he cannot look away, he stares, through the blackness, the streets, the walls that separate them, that close him in and out but cannot save the three of them from this: he sees.