Quote: The Kindest of Lies

We waltzed slowly around the room, between the rows of booths, past the pool table and the chairs, never hitting anything. I guess the loser had spent so much time in that bar that he knew where everything was. He had the gift of all the best dancers: he led you so that you felt as though there was no leading or following involved … The scar tissue above his empty white eyes was furrowed with concentration, and he smelled of sweat and gin.

“Are you beautiful?” the loser whispered toward the end of the song.

I lied a little. “Yes,” I said. “Very.”

The loser smiled to himself and closed his sightless eyes.

Fulton County Blues, by Ruth Birmingham, p. 52

6 thoughts on “Quote: The Kindest of Lies

    1. Perhaps that quote needed some more context?

      In Fulton County Blues, the narrator is a P.I. in Georgia who’s always been told that her father died in Vietnam, but her mother doesn’t want to talk about it. Then one day, she discovers that her father’s name is not on the Memorial in D.C. Meanwhile, a vet her father’s age has committed suicide, but the widow is convinced it’s not suicide and begs for pro bono help. So she starts investigating What Really Happened, both to her father and the suicide victim, and of course it’s tragic on so many levels. In this scene, she has tracked down one of her dad’s old buddies in a bar. He’s not able to help her, but this blind bar rat is. He is willing to give her some names and phone numbers … in return for a dance.

      It’s a really well-written, poignant book, but yes, very dark in some ways. This is actually one of the sweeter scenes.

      Liked by 1 person

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