Should I have a doughnut or my disgusting cardboard? asked Gwynn, as she drew up languidly before me at a study table in a bookstore on State Street, raising a puffed rice cake in the air. My eyes narrowed attentively at her face, but as I hesitated, she announced eagerly, Disgusting cardboard it is!
The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.
But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.
He sighed profoundly, and flung himself - there was a passion in his movements which deserves the word - on the earth at the foot of the oak tree. He loved, beneath all this summer transiency, to feel the earth's spine beneath him; for such he took the hard root of the oak tree to be; or, for image followed image, it was the back of a great horse that he was riding; or the deck of a tumbling ship - it was anything indeed, so long as it was hard, for he felt the need of something which he could attach his floating heart to; the heart that tugged at his side; the heart that seemed filled with spiced and amorous gales every evening about this time when he walked out. To the oak tree he tied it and as he lay there, gradually the flutter in and about him stilled itself; the little leaves hung, the deer stopped; the pale summer clouds stayed; his limbs grew heavy on the ground; and he lay so still that by degrees the deer stopped nearer and the rooks wheeled round him and the swallows dipped and circled and the dragonflies shot past, as if all the fertility and amorous activity of a summer's evening were woven web-like about his body.
Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York, And all the clouds that loured upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths, Our bruised arms hung up for monuments, Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. Grim visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous looking glass I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty To strut before a wanton ambling nymph I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, And that so lamely and unfashionable That dogs bark at me as I halt by them, Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace, Have no delight to pass away the time, Unless to spy my shadow in the sun.