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"Don't talk about it. These dreary fall days depress me enough."
Jill seemed to agree.
"Doug here is sorta gloomy anyways," she commented. "Tell him to drink
deep--it's good and scarce these days."
"What I really want to ask you, Amory, is where you are--"
"Why, New York, I suppose--"
"I mean to-night, because if you haven't got a room yet you'd better
help me out."
"You see, Tully and I have two rooms with bath between at the Ranier,
and he's got to go back to New York. I don't want to have to move.
Question is, will you occupy one of the rooms?"
Amory was willing, if he could get in right away.
"You'll find the key in the office; the rooms are in my name."
Declining further locomotion or further stimulation, Amory left the car
and sauntered back along the board walk to the hotel.
He was in an eddy again, a deep, lethargic gulf, without desire to work
or write, love or dissipate. For the first time in his life he rather
longed for death to roll over his generation, obliterating their petty
fevers and struggles and exultations. His youth seemed never so vanished
as now in the contrast between the utter loneliness of this visit and
that riotous, joyful party of four years before. Things that had been
the merest commonplaces of his life then, deep sleep, the sense of
beauty around him, all desire, had flown away and the gaps they left
were filled only with the great listlessness of his disillusion.
"To hold a man a woman has to appeal to the worst in him." This sentence
was the thesis of most of his bad nights, of which he felt this was to
be one. His mind had already started to play variations on the subject.
Tireless passion, fierce jealousy, longing to possess and crush--these
alone were left of all his love for Rosalind; these remained to him as
payment for the loss of his youth--bitter calomel under the thin sugar
of love's exaltation.
In his room he undressed and wrapping himself in blankets to keep out
the chill October air drowsed in an armchair by the open window.
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