windowcurtains crowded about them bitter with the dust of yesterday, the day before, the day before that. Smells of diapers and coffeepots and typewriter oil and Dutch Cleanser oppressed them. Ellen put out the empty milkbottle and went to bed. Jimmy kept walking nervously about the front room. His drunkenness ebbed away leaving him icily sober. In the empty chamber of his brain a doublefaced word clinked like a coin: Success Failure, Success Failure.
I'm just wild about Harree
And Harry's just wild about me
she hums under her breath as she dances. It's a long hall with a band at one end, lit greenishly by two clusters of electric lights hanging among paper festoons in the center. At the end where the door is, a varnished rail holds back the line of men. This one Anna's dancing with is a tall square built Swede, his big feet trail clumsily after her tiny lightly tripping feet. The music stops. Now it's a little blackhaired slender Jew. He tries to snuggle close.
"Quit that." She holds him away from her.
"Aw have a heart."
She doesn't answer, dances with cold precision; she's sickeningly tired.
Me and my boyfriend
My boyfriend and I
An Italian breathes garlic in her face, a marine sergeant, a Greek, a blond young kid with pink cheeks, she gives him a smile; a drunken elderly man who tries to kiss her . . . Charley my boy O Charley my boy . . . slickhaired, freckled rumplehaired, pimplefaced, snubnosed, straightnosed, quick dancers, heavy dancers. . . . Goin souf. . . . Wid de taste o de sugarcane right in my mouf . . . against her back big hands, hot hands, sweaty hands, cold hands, while her dance-