Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/287

This page has been validated.

Rejoicing City That Dwelt Carelessly


pickin on me." She takes hold of his stubbly cheeks and kisses him quickly on the mouth and has broken away from him and run up the four flights of grimy stairs.

The door is still on the latch. She strips off her dancing pumps and walks carefully through the kitchenette on aching feet. From the next room comes the wheezy doublebarreled snoring of her uncle and aunt. Somebody loves me, I wonder who. . . . The tune is all through her body, in the throb of her feet, in the tingling place on her back where he held her tight dancing with her. Anna you've got to forget it or you wont sleep. Anna you got to forget. Dishes on the tables set for breakfast jingle tingle hideously when she bumps against it.

"That you Anna?" comes a sleepy querulous voice from her mother's bed.

"Went to get a drink o water mommer." The old woman lets the breath out in a groan through her teeth, the bedsprings creak as she turns over. Asleep all the time.

Somebody loves me, I wonder who. She slips off her party dress and gets into her nightgown. Then she tiptoes to the closet to hang up the dress and at last slides between the covers little by little so the slats wont creak. I wonder who. Shuffle shuffle, bright lights, pink blobbing faces, grabbing arms, tense thighs, bouncing feet. I wonder who. Shuffle, droning saxophone tease, shuffle in time to the drum, trombone, clarinet. Feet, thighs, cheek to cheek, Somebody loves me. . . . Shuffle shuffle. I wonder who.

The baby with tiny shut purplishpink face and fists lay asleep on the berth. Ellen was leaning over a black leather suitcase. Jimmy Herf in his shirtsleeves was looking out the porthole.

"Well there's the statue of Liberty. . . . Ellie we ought to be out on deck."

"It'll be ages before we dock. . . . Go ahead up. I'll come up with Martin in a minute."