By Lawrence Block
Intercourse, medicinal drugs, AND homicide within the LAND OF THE LOTUS EATERS
Anita Carbone used to be an excellent lady – and it bored her.
That’s why she took the lengthy subway trip all the way down to Greenwich Village, domestic of the Beats and the stoners, domestic to each type of misfit and dropout and loose spirit you may think. It was once the place she met Joe Milani, the bothered younger warfare veteran with the light contact. however it was once additionally the place she met his drug-dealing roommate – a guy whose unnatural appetites resulted in murder…
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Extra info for A Diet of Treacle
She was alone, her badly bleached blonde hair hanging down to her waist, her breasts huge in the man’s white dress shirt ill-designed for chests such as hers—alone in a hovel where books, bottles and butts littered the floor. Fran closed the door behind him and the two sat down on a broken-up couch. They each drank a bottle of cherry-flavored cough syrup containing 2 minims of chloroform and 43 milligrams of codeine, mixed with extracts of squill, ipecac and sanguinaria. The cough syrup was sweet, a little too sweet.
Then you married a good Italian girl and settled down and bought one of those new houses in the suburbs and snagged a job with your old man or sold insurance or found something else you didn’t have to kill yourself doing and at which you could make a fairly decent living. That was what you were supposed to do. But what you were supposed to do was also impossible, inconceivable, and couldn’t work out no matter how much grass you smoked. You couldn’t go back again, that was the hell of it. Squares could turn Hip if they were sick enough, but Hips like you, Joe Milani, couldn’t seem to return to Squaresville.
She wore nothing under the skirt or shirt—she rarely did, complaining that underwear inhibited her. He removed his own clothes. Their love-making came down as a long stretch. Opiates such as codeine serve only to lessen a woman’s inhibitions; in a man they encourage impotence. But after a while Joe’s need for love, combined with the insistence of Fran’s practiced hands and the attraction of Fran’s equally practiced body, clutched them together like two hungry, homeless children who strained desperately to find something.
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