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296 pages, Hardcover
First published September 20, 2016
I’m slipping, saying too much; in a night this deep and strange the boundaries start to blur.
Around here it’s the dead who are living large. On the living side of the fence we have plastic kids’ bikes wedged into the balconies of burned-out apartment buildings. Mosaics of garbage and broken glass in the mud. So it’s not too surprising that I tend to wind up wandering around the graves. It reminds me that there are always options.
The parking lot is ringed in by poles maybe thirty feet high, and on top of every pole a severed head stares down, some with eyes and some with just gutted pits.
It's only logical: BY's can't kill everyone who shops there. If they did, they'd go out of business.
It’s a destination and everyone piles up and congratulates themselves on having made it all the way here from some wherever or other. To them this is practically an enchanted kingdom. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now, but not the part where I live.
Sometimes I get sick of how demanding she is. Sometimes I’ve even toyed with the idea of letting her go hungry for a few days, or even not feeding her again. She’d complain at first but eventually, I’m pretty sure, she’d just go back to being inanimate.
“Vassa? Remember how you said that no one sees past the obvious stuff? If I go by what’s obvious, then I’d have to assume that you’re a raving, pathological liar.”
“I wish that all of us together in this night could stop hurting. I wish we’d finally cease to bleed.”
“Night knows you, Vassa.”
‘There was part – of somebody – a little girl – and that part so much the girl couldn’t carry it inside herself anymore. So it went into a doll. It made the doll alive. And the doll carried it for her. For six years.’