"How Old, How Young."


On July 1, 1967, publication of "How Old, How Young." The New Yorker. And Other Stories. Gibbsville, PA.

Gibbsville, the early twenties.

Jamie Choate, who has a crush on Nancy Liggett, sees her crying openly on the street because her father has just been outed as an embezzler at the bank. Later he notices her at the Club. The following excerpt shows the author at his best:

He played the match and won, had a ginger ale with the kid he had beaten, took a shower and put on his bathing suit and went to the pool. She was there, sitting by herself with her chin on her knees and her arms clasping her legs. She looked up at him as he dropped his towel and sat beside her. "Hello," she said.
   "Do you mind?" he said.
   "I'm not being very conversational," she said.
   "Well, that makes two of us," he said. "You didn't go to the Lloyds'."
   "No," she said.
   "I left fairly early. It was still going strong, but the only person I wanted to talk to wasn't there."
   "No," he said.
   "I warned you, I wasn't being very conversational," she said. She picked up her bathing cap and pulled it on. tucking in wisps of her blonde hair, cocking her head as she did and unconsciously being extremely feminine and attractive. She stood up and went to the edge of the pool, hesitated and dived in. He waited to see her when she got out, with her wet bathing suit sticking to her body, but he also wanted to see if she would return to her place. He had quite a while to wait. She swam very slowly up and down the length of the pool, floated a bit, and finally climbed out.
   "You weren't going to get rid of me that way," he said.
   "It was worth a try," she said. She took off her cap and dried the back of her neck and ran her fingers through her hair. She lit a cigarette and lowered herself to the concrete.

No comments: