She knew the effort it took to keep one’s exterior self together, upright, when everything inside was in pieces, broken beyond repair. One touch, one warm, compassionate hand, could shatter that hard-won perfect exterior. And then it would take years and years to restore it.
This tiny, effeminate creature dressed in velvet suits, red socks, an absurdly long scarf usually wrapped around his throat, trailing after him like a coronation robe.
He who pronounced, after dinner, “I’m going to go sit over here with the rest of the girls and gossip!” This pixie who might suddenly leap into the air, kicking one foot out behind him, exclaiming, “Oh, what fun, fun, fun it is to be me! I’m beside myself!”
“Truman, you could charm the rattle off a snake,” Diana Vreeland pronounced.
Hemingway - He was so muskily, powerfully masculine. More than any other man she’d met, and that was saying something when Clark Gable was a notch in your belt. So it was that, and his brain, his heart—poetic, sad, boyish, angry—that drew her. And he wanted her. Slim could see it in his hungry eyes, voraciously taking her in, no matter how many times a day he saw her; each time was like the first time after a wrenching separation.
How to soothe and flatter and caress and purr and then ignore, just when the flattering and caressing got to be a bit too much.
Modesty bores me. I hate people who act coy. Just come right out and say it, if you believe it—I’m the greatest. I’m the cat’s pajamas. I’m it!
He couldn’t humiliate her vulnerability, her despair.
Old habits die hard. Particularly among the wealthy. And the storytellers, gossips, and snakes.
Is it truly a scandal? A divine, delicious literary scandal, just like in the good old days of Hemingway and Fitzgerald?
The loss of trust, the loss of joy; the loss of herself. The loss of her true heart.
An amusing, brief little time. A time before it was fashionable to tell the truth, and the world grew sordid from too much honesty.
In the end as in the beginning, all they had were the stories. The stories they told about one another, and the stories they told to themselves.
Beauty. Beauty in all its glory, in all its iterations; the exquisite moment of perfect understanding between two lonely, damaged souls, sitting silently by a pool, or in the twilight, or lying in bed, vulnerable and naked in every way that mattered. The haunting glance of a woman who knew she was beautiful because of how she saw herself reflected in her friend’s eyes. The splendor of belonging, being included, prized, coveted.
What happened to Truman Capote. What happened to his swans. What happened to elegance. What truly was the price they paid, for the lives they lived. For there is always a price. Especially in fairy tales.