A Slipping-Down Life
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"Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place."
Evie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too real....
From the Paperback edition.
Casey. He wore his black denim and his high leather boots. He had on sunglasses made of a silvery black that mirrored Evie perfectly and turned his own face, what you could see of it, into something as hard and as opaque as the glasses themselves. “Shades off, Casey,” the photographer said. “I want a reaction.” Drumstrings Casey leaned against the doorframe, crossed one boot, and removed his sunglasses. His face lost its smoothness. He had, after all, the narrow brown eyes that Evie expected, so
notebook until she had found it: a plastic-sealed photograph of her in her hospital room, rising from a wave of strung-out sheets, and Drum scowling beside her. Taped to the plastic was a printed message. “Congratulations on your recent achievement. And when it’s the tops in achievement you want, just think of Sonny Martin, Pulqua Country’s Biggest Real Estate Agent.” “This rightly belongs to you,” Evie said. “Here. Keep it.” Drum took his eyes from the road a minute to glance at it, and then he
said. “You need something black. Dressy.” “No one dresses up at the Unicorn.” “You do. You want to stand out. We’ll wait.” “What? You want me to change now? I can’t do that, my father will start wondering. He thinks I’m at a friend’s.” “We’ll wait around the block then.” “Oh, for Christ’s sake,” said Drum. David shooed him away with one hand. “You leave this to me,” he said. “I’ve got it all clear in my mind. We’ll be over there, Evie.” Evie ran back to her room. She changed in a rush,
thought.” “Oh, well, it’s over now,” Evie said. “It came to me the night I got fired. I said, Oh, damn, I missed all the signs, will you look at that?’ ” “What?” “Are you listening to me?” “I just don’t see what you’re saying,” Evie said. “It’s all right about the fight, really. I’m the one that should apologize.” “I ain’t apologizing, I meant every word. You weigh on my head. But you bring luck, too. Or take it away, like when you hoped I would mess up at the Parisian.” “Well, wait—” Evie
will be home all day just picking at the lawn. Don’t you wish there was something to do?” “You could be a camp counselor,” Violet said. Evie only sighed and yanked at a slip strap. In the changing-room, on gym days, half-dressed girls sat on long wooden benches and named their favorite singers. Their lockers were lined with full-color pictures of the Beatles and the Monkees, their notebooks were decorated with the titles of the top forty, and they traded stacks of pulpy gray magazines filled