It's my birthday, by the way, and as of 2:05 this morning (the time of my birth in the middle of a snow storm on the Fort Dix army base in New Jersey) I'm 52 years old. I decided to say that because there's such in our culture for women...well, for everybody...to stay perpetually young. And that's never going to change if we (women especially) don't embrace, enjoy, and take pride in each and every age that we pass through. I'm not young, I'm half a century old, and grateful to have made it this far. And I have this to say to the young women coming on behind me: 52 feels pretty damn good!
I once laughed at the vanity of women of thirty or forty who whitened their ruddy old skin with lead, but now I know such salves are not disguises for old crones who wish to catch a young husband. Instead they are only a mask we wear so that we can, for a little while, still recognize ourselves.
Fat Charlie had had no real liking for the police, but until now, he had still managed to cling to a fundamental trust in the natural order of things, a conviction that there was some kind of power--a Victorian might have thought of it as Providence--that ensured that the guilty would be punished while the innocent would be set free. This faith had collapsed in the face of recent events and had been replaced by the suspicion that he would spend the rest of his life pleading his innocence to a variety of implacable judges and tormenters, many of whom would look like Daisy, and that he would in all probability wake up in cell six the next morning to find that he had been transformed into an enormous cockroach. He had definitely been transported to the kind of maleficent universe that transformed people into cockroaches.