What Bites Dorothy Parker -- Michelle Murphy

Her metronome jumps out the window, stopping in mid-air to have a chat with the neighbor's harpsichord. Dorothy wishes she could finish in silence but the pen, in collaboration with the writing tablet keeps her suspended at her desk like an assumed threat, a never-mind bird, arthritic and stiff. She fleshes out an idea then listens as it chafes against her inner ear, testing her equilibrium. She hunts down her muse after too many drinks, her vulgar mouth taking no pauses. Throwing in the towel, her muse returns and acting unusually hostile, gnaws on the back of her neck.

In times such as these, a lofty ambition is like liquor in the sky. Strangers pay her rent, acquaint the newspapers with stories walloping in lies. There's not the faintest notion that she knows or cares how distracted she's become. It's introduced as a suggestion but there are diversions to this as well, ashtrays to be pilfered, ruses to be forged. There's "life" and "immediate" experience. The metronome generates a voluptuous hiss, then tramples without delay downward, and at last, its springs and coils spraying over the sidewalk, scarcely misses a woman who will later write uplifting stories of her own.

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