Tuesday, June 21
Last night’s picnic didn’t happen, or at least didn’t get attended by me, because I can spot heavy rain when I notice it coming down. Today, no picnics in the offing, the weather turns the sun back on, and I sit indoors at a laptop looking out of the window at blue skies.
In the early afternoon I take a break to sit in the garden and finish rereading Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, which I started yesterday evening. I have not read it for several decades and I liked it a lot. I remember it as seeming lighter than Hammett’s other books, but that proved no bad thing. It operates as a comedy of manners as much as a whodunnit.
As I sit and read it I find myself starting to feel drunk from the sheer amount of alcohol that all the characters seem to drink, twenty four hours a day.
From pages 142 and 143:
Nora shook me awake at a quarter past ten. ‘The telephone,’ she said.
‘How about a drop of something to cut the phlegm?’
‘Why don’t you stay sober today?’
‘We didn’t come to New York to stay sober. Want to see a hockey game tonight?’
‘I’d like to.’ She poured me a drink and went to order breakfast.
We might note that Nora Charles drinks at least as much as Nick Charles: before, during and after breakfast.