A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

By Evelyn Waugh

After seven years of marriage, the gorgeous girl Brenda final has grown tired of existence at Hetton Abbey, the Gothic mansion that's the delight and pleasure of her husband, Tony. She drifts into an affair with the shallow socialite John Beaver and forsakes Tony for the Belgravia set. In a singular that mixes tragedy, comedy, and savage irony, Evelyn Waugh indelibly captures the irresponsible temper of the "crazy and sterile generation" among the wars.

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Hey, crop the pot," I warn as he spots Patrick Kelly and scampers off. " I start rolling the joint.  Ross Bleckner, a guy who used to work at a club in Amagansett called Salamanders and was recently profiled in Bikini. " She lights another cigarette, finally sips the champagne. " "Hey," I finally snap, "and you slept with Charlie Sheen. " "I should've just had dinner with Baxter," she mutters. " She just stares at me. " Chloe just stares glumly at her plate.  What do you want me to do? " she asks disinterestedly.

After he leaves I finish the joint, then look at my watch but I'm not wearing one so I inspect my wrist instead. " Chloe slouches in the booth, looks at me disgustedly. " "Spare me," Chloe says. Chloe picks up the check and in order to downplay the situation I lean in to kiss her, the swarming paparazzi causing the kind of disturbance we're used to. " Gilles Bensiníon, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Demarchelier, Ron Galotti, Peter Lindbergh and Baxter Priestly have all left messages.  Tears fill her eyes, she shudders, takes a Xanax, wards off another anxiety attack.

Bye, Baxter," Chloe says, tired but sweet, as usual. " She doesn't answer, just glares at me. " she says­asks morosely, picking at a plate of cilantro. " "He's in the new Darren Star show and plays bass in the band Hey That's My Shoe," she says, lighting another cigarette. " I mutter, spotting seeds that cry out for removal. " "Oh god, I bet he loved that," I moan, concentrating on the pot. " "I did that all day," she sighs. " I ask earnestly, waving down Cliff the maître d' for a drink but it's too late: Eric has already sent over a complimentary bottle of too late: Eric has already sent over a complimentary bottle of Cristal 1985.

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