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368 pages, Hardcover
First published May 1, 2008
Eric's generosity, his praise of Spencer's talent...these were very endearing qualities. Scarlett tried to tell herself that this was what she liked about him, and that it wasn't just his almost disturbing physical perfection.
On the morning of the tenth of June, Scarlett Martin woke up to the sound of loud impromptu rap penetrating her thin bedroom wall from the direction of the bathroom next door. Scarlett had been trying to ignore this noise for fifteen minutes by incorporating it into her dream, but it was a difficult thing to weave the constantly repeated phrase, 'I got a butt-butt, I got a mud hut' into a dream about trying to hide a bunch of rabbits in her T-shirt drawer.
A crowded New York subway car in the summer is a wonderful place to meet new people. There is no decorum, no breathing room, and often, no deodorant. You survive by keeping yourself small and taking short maintenance breaths and making them last, like divers do.
In a city with so many different types of people and so much competition, mornings were an even playing field where no one looked good or knew where anything was. There was the woman who changed her outfit four times each morning and practiced different poses in the mirror. Two windows over, the obsessive-compulsive guy was cleaning all the burners on his stove. A flight down, there was Anything for Breakfast guy who would (as his name implied) eat anything for breakfast. Today he was pouring melted ice cream over cereal. Another neighbor, a woman of about seventy, was completely nude on the rooftop patio of the adjacent apartment building. She was reading The New York Times and carefully balancing a cup of coffee by squeezing it between her thighs, which was a completely unacceptable sight at this time in the morning. Or really, any time.