Joan Didion (b. 1934, Sacramento, California, USA)

Written by Joan Didion

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968

A party at someone’s house in Beverly Hills: a pink tent, two orchestras, a couple of French Communist directors in Cardin evening jackets, chili and hamburgers from Chasen’s. The wife of an English actor sits at a table alone; she visits California rarely although her husband works here a good deal. An American who knows her slightly comes over to the table.

"Marvelous to see you here," he says.

"Is it," she says.

"How long have you been here?"

"Too long."

She takes a fresh drink from a passing waiter and smiles at her husband, who is dancing.

The American tries again. He mentions her husband.

"I hear he’s marvelous in this picture."

She looks at the American for the first time. When she finally speaks she enunciates every word very clearly. "He… is… also… a… fag," she says pleasantly.
(in Los Angeles Notebook)


© 1968 Joan Didion; New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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