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By Mary Gaitskill

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Patrick would always finish his breakfast by peeling an orange or a grapefruit until every bit of white rind had been picked off it, then meticulously stripping the membrane off of each section with his teeth before eating it. “You look like a kitten when you do that,” said Lily. ” “He is a kitten,” said Dolores scornfully. “Wash my dishes, slave,” said Patrick. Since Dolores couldn’t stand the idea of work yet, Patrick paid her rent. Because of this, he tried to push her around a little. “Slave?

CONTENTS College Town. 1980 5 Folk Song 25 An Old Virgin 35 The Agonized Face 50 Mirror Ball 73 Today I’m Yours 96 The Little Boy 116 The Arms and Legs of the Lake 138 Description 169 Don’t Cry 188 College Town, 1980 Dolores did not look good in a scarf. Her face was fleshy, her nose had a bulby tip, and her forehead was low. Her skin was coarse and heavy for a woman under thirty, and the tension in her face was such that a quick glance gave the impression that she was grinding her teeth, although she was not.

Teresa coursed by like a shark, her low forehead predominant as a snout. Dolores felt impotent detestation. Teresa saw the false fingernails, now standing out from Dolores’s hands like evil thoughts. Dolores stared at her nails, like a sea blob heaved up on a hot beach, dimly realizing that its soft, flat flippers won’t help it get back into the water. Teresa sneered and began scribbling on her little gray pad. She ripped off Dolores’s check and threw it at her, mumbling something about needing more table space.

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