Night fishing. In The Snow Walker, Farley Mowat observes what all linguists know, that the Eskimos have over a hundred compound words to describe varieties and conditions of snow. The conditions of night are as various but there’s never been any call for the thesaurus.
<p>The court was a plaid of blue and green and red and brown, and the athletes, in multicolored uniforms, sat on benches and shouted encouragement to their teammates, almost like ballplayers. Black-haired, intense Virginia Wade missed a volley and said, “Shit.”</p>
<p>When I was in grammar school, the winning of letters to wear sewn on the back of your jacket was not the exclusive right of fleet-footed relay-racing boys or masters of the half nelson. Girls, too, could be advertised as champs at University Hill School by spending their summer vacation reading ten books and writing reports.</p>
<p>Harriet Van Horne is a syndicated columnist I read in the New York Post three times a week. She is carried in only sixteen papers; she used to have many more, but they fell off during the Nixon years. Miss Van Horne has trouble picking up other newspapers because her column is hard to categorize.</p>
I could have asked for more: to lie between her thighs, white birch in spring; sing—a thrush—between them, my body's dreams when young, and even then ugly as a roach scuttling between the jeers of children. “Humpback!” They'd dance the curse around me, poke my shoulder's stone with such pretty little fingers.
We float outside the windows, body banners, a trailing embrace refracting light, becoming long blue dog, long red cat entwined. I have yellow Etruscan eyes, a slender, tufted tail, and claws caught in your fur. You have arms like scarves, wrapping my throat and waist, and a bristly dog face, black mouth, rough tongue that blurs the outlines of my body in our drunken comet kiss.
When you study the gossip establishment chart on page 60, you won’t find Esquire mentioned. This might seem strange to some of you. It certainly struck John Leonard that way when we called him to ask if he would write an article explaining the distinction between ordinary gossip and the Truman Capote stories we’ve been publishing lately.
After reading Truman Capote’s Unspoiled Monsters in your May issue, I have come to the conclusion that he is the greatest American writer of this decade, perhaps of this half-century. The word “genius” keeps popping into my brain, and my admiration for his facility with words grows with each work of his that I read.
In Dominique’s restaurant, four blocks from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, nearly a dozen silver-haired men swayed in time. A Sony tape recorder blasted out Blood Sausage, the marching song of the French Foreign Legion. The surrounding patrons cast worried looks toward the scene.
For almost a year we watched brown rust move in from the tips of fanlike fronds, green needles yellow and fall, quilting the earth. “Imagine them born that color,” I said. “Dig them up,” she said. “They are dead.” So I leap on my shovel and probe, loosening the soil around in a narrowing circle, then lean down hard on the handle and pry— Nothing gives.
<p>The closed door upstairs at 120 South Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles is marked OPERATIONS CENTER. In the windowless room beyond the closed door a reverential hush prevails. From six a.m. until seven p.m. in this windowless room men sit at consoles watching a huge board flash colored lights.</p>
Charne, a lady who is great company in the woods or anywhere else for that matter, and I had taken our packs off and were lying behind a low stone wall looking out into the deep mist-shrouded valley below. Behind us some people were feeding a raccoon in the little paved area where cars could pull off the highway.
Here it is July and you still haven’t done a thing about your summer vacation—so how about going skiing? Skiing?! Right; some of the year’s best skiing is going on right now and will be for the next couple of months—in the Southern Alps. These Alps are in New Zealand (where the seasons are the reverse of ours) and it’s too bad that they weren’t named something else.
To every thing there is a season, and if this seems to be the season for anything at all, then that thing is gossip. Look around you. At Time Inc—where they've got a cultural seismograph that registers trends while everybody else is still down at the beach—the movers and shakers took some readings and came up with People magazine.
Hi, This Is Marcel Proust, Reporting from the Hamptons
A remembrance of gossips past
<p>I don’t know why Esquire asked me to write an article about gossip. Jimmy Carter hasn’t asked me to write an article about teeth. What do experts need with amateurs? But if one more article on gossip needs to be written, let me begin with the idea of a balloon.</p>
Hi, This Is Bruce Jay Friedman, Reporting from Hollywood
My life among the stars
Bruce Jay Friedman
<p>I wasn’t getting along with a Hollywood producer. He was trying to figure out a way to put me in my place. He thought and thought and finally he said, “You know your trouble? You’ll always be one of those hundred-thousand-dollar guys.” A friend of mine wrote several successful films but never got in on the profits.</p>
If you are not home, take this magazine home. Then take a knife and cut very neatly along the perforated edge at right. Inside are fourteen pages of what everybody's talking about. Don't peek into the pages from top or bottom. Nobody likes a snoop.
For the next fourteen pages you’ll see how one utterly untrue statement turns into another utterly untrue statement, how in the end we're left with a statement untrue not only unto itself but unto the first utterly untrue statement you see here.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A newspaper without a gossip column—or a People column, or a Names in the News column, or whatever you want to call it—is hard to find these days. The hottest thing in the capital, for instance, is The Ear, a column in The Washington Star that's giving fits to The Washington Post.
What used to be called the Bureau of the Census assures us that there are 20,768 inhabited places in this country And in every one there's somebody who makes it his business to know everybody else's business. Not just the births, the deaths, the marriages, which are, after all, the rightful domain of the town clerk.
<p>It was in Going to a Fight, an essay on boxing, that William Hazlitt wrote: “It's the devil for anyone to tell me a secret, for it's sure to come out in print. I do not care so much to gratify a friend, but the public ear is too great a temptation to me."</p>
Here's your chance to paint the town with Earl Wilson, last of the great Broadway columnists, beloved husband of the Beautiful Wife, biographer of Frank Sinatra, who's suing because, for one thing, Wilson portrayed his life as "boring" Wilson's life is certainly not boring, no, sir.
A couple of points on the piece about me: for the record, I did not clamor for "nuclear strikes" against Red China's facilities, but for just plain old strikes. The kween-seen takes place not in her boudoir but, so to speak, in Blackford's. My misbegotten airplane trip was not to visit my sister Patricia at Vassar, but my sister Naureen at the Ethel Walker School, in whose front lawn I landed...
He looked to see if someone were standing back up on the shoulder behind the Buick, but there was no one, only the black imprint of Santa Rosa quavering on the low table of the desert. When he stopped, the woman quit waving and rested her hand on her hip but kept her eyes shielded with her fingers.
<p>WANTED: Employment as mercenary on full-time or job-contract basis. Preferably in South or Central America, but anywhere in the world, if you pay transportation. Contact Gearhart.” The ad appeared in the back pages of the new magazine Soldier of Fortune:</p>
The music seemed to be coming out of nowhere; then you peeked down through a grating into a pit just big enough to hold a string quartet and glimpsed a violin bow or a bald pate in the gloom. Jim Fisk once tossed what could only have been a very very great deal of small change down there.
If you'd like to start collecting but can’t afford Ming vases or Louis XIV furniture, listen here: there are lots of goodies that have been ignored by experienced collectors, and prices will never be lower than they are right now. If you want to buy in inexpensively, you should start by scouting flea markets.
The difference between the man in the movies and the man in life is the difference between Night and Day
<p>Fred Astaire says he has been in show business since he was four and a half years old. He is now seventy-seven. By rights, he should be a treasure trove of anecdotes. He isn’t. Prying information out of him is like trying to extract with tweezers a deeply embedded sliver: just as you get the head of the sliver, it breaks off.</p>
Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire's longtime dancing partner, curls up catlike on a sofa in The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where in a few hours she will be performing her energetic, ninety-minute nightclub act in the Empire Room. Yes, Ginger is still dancing these days, but dancing alone, and she is doing her stuff in nightclubs instead of in the movies.
Why are these men in their grey flannel suits wearing bags on their heads? To prove that clothes make the bag, of course, and if clothes can do that, they can also make you. Pay attention to these pages. First they'll tell you how to shop for a suit, then show you some of the suits you should shop for this fall.
A lot of men—you may be among them—never really feel comfortable buying a suit, especially when it comes to the fitting part. You stand there in front of the three-way mirror while the tailor marks you up; he asks a few questions and you try to answer, but you're never really sure of yourself.
A Sioux warbonnet and a leather shield lie in a glass case along the wall. Dust has seeped in, the eagle feathers have lost their life, the cabalistic signs burned in the shield to ward away the arrows of the enemy are dim. Here by the display a small boy leans his dark face low above the smudgy glass and traces with a brown finger the forgotten patterns of his tribal medicine that served against the arrows of the enemies, but not against the white-eye’s bullet in that last battle.
Southern Florida has a number of fine restaurants that combine excellent food with settings that make dining an unusual experience. One of these is La Vieille Maison (the old house) of Boca Raton, about twenty miles north of Fort Lauderdale, the city in which Leonce Picot and Al Kocab opened their premier restaurant seven years ago.
Contact-lens wearers, even veterans, always have unanswered questions. Like why their eyes hurt when they drink; what went wrong when they started taking the pill; why their eyes are particularly sensitive to light; why they can't see as well with their glasses.
1 At home he was always quiet, staring at the linen tablecloth Avoiding the old woman's fingers (those blue fingers) Locking the silver in her red mahogany chest. But in Williamsburg, Among the jostling wagons, the shouting men, His eyes grew luminous, blue, intense.
Levine, Conrad, Steadman and Hirschfeld on each other
<p>The fact is, you're not really a bona fide big-time success—show biz, political or literary—unless you've been immortalized in caricature by at least one of these four artists: David Levine, Paul Conrad, Ralph Steadman, Al Hirschfeld.</p>
Everything worth knowing about in Europe these days happens in Paris. Press coverage of the latest student riots, concentrating on the usual scenes of looted shop windows and burned-out cars, has completely missed their true significance.
“LET ME SHOW YOU HOW TO CUT YOUR EATING TIME IN HALF & TRIPLE YOUR CONSUMPTION IN JUST FIVE DAYS!”
You can do it too! 55,000 other people have done it! People with different mouths! Different teeth! Different tastes! Our graduates are people from all walks of life with all kinds of taste preferences. These people have at least tripled eating speed without changing taste preferences.
Ah, fall we hopelessly into love from respective mouths. I would call to you, my slippery darling, had I the speech. Housed in an indifferent bulk, both deaf and dumb, I see you only wagging in the dark quarters of your life. Oh, who knows what I'd do if suddenly, out of the dark, you stood on the white brink, your dull face alive with muscle moving for me over the rivulets of our captors’ love, sliding past me with a cat’s love for the leg of its master, and together taste salt, taste the sweet and sour flavor of our love.
Reach into this narrow mouth with both hands. Though limestone will not stretch, the stone throat opens to one who will go in alone. Lay your cheek on black chill. Now the mountain rests on your shoulder, its breath cold as the breath of water.
Once again winter calls for itself with both hands Folded behind its back, its eyes cast like dice. Half hidden already, we’ll retreat into our house And then into the catacombs of our nerves, the ghosts of guilt. You’ll peer into the monochrome of your own face As if you were shaving.