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When I left

30 August 2017

When I left, Merle was wearing a bungalow apron and rolling pie-crust. She came to the door wiping her hands on the apron and kissed me on the mouth and began to cry and ran back into the house, leaving the doorway empty until her mother came into the space with a broad homely smile on her face to watch me drive away.

I had a funny feeling as I saw the house disappear, as though I had written a poem and it was very good and I had lost it and would never remember it again.

Raymond Chandler


5 Comments to “When I left”

  1. I love these!

  2. I love RC too. But this sentence is really funny ” Merle was wearing a bungalow apron and rolling pie-crust. ”

    I wondered what it looked like to be wearing rolling pie-crust

    • Okay, so it’s not just me who was tripped up by that 🙂

    • Ashe Elton Parker

      It’s perfectly clear to me. Chandler is saying that she is wearing an apron, and that she’s rolling pie crust.

      If she were wearing the pie crust, imho, the sentence would have been structed in this way:

      “Merle was wearing a bungalow apron and a rolling pie-crust.”

      To me, since the “a” follows “rolling,” that makes it clear that she is in fact not wearing the pie crust.

      • I don’t think it’s that the sentence doesn’t make sense. It just that without the article, the sentence potentially scans ambiguously for a moment.

        For an author, whose skill is in reading what words are actually saying, it’s a chance for a bit of a laugh, even though after that split second you know what was meant. 🙂

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