Excerpt: The Hat

EVEN YEARS LATER I remembered the moment we entered the speakeasy that night—I see my young self as if I were looking at a snapshot; the four of us are poised in tableau; I am second from the left, standing there with flaming hair, glittering ears, that absurd white fox coat to my ankles, and ample cleavage. Ben is smiling on my left, looking smart and sly as if he owns the place. Bobby and Sam are on my right—Bobby next to me, relaxed, elegant, his hands in his pockets; Sam, a little apart, looking wary. The band is playing “Sweet Georgia Brown” as Sherman Billingsley welcomes us in his Oklahoma drawl, hugging Ben, kissing me on the cheek, shaking hands with Bobby and Sam. He leads me to our ringside table, my peculiar little family following in single file as we move through the crowded, dim room (Ben, then Bobby, then Sam lumbering along in he rear), hearing the sweet jazzy sounds of the trumpets and clarinets, feeling the pounding of the piano and drums vibrating the floor under my feet, feeling the stares and whispers as we pass, feeling beautiful and rich and safe, feeling the moment powerfully as if it would last forever, the princess in the fairy tale living on after the last page. I was eighteen years old and thought Ben Gold had taken me straight up to heaven with one stop along the way at Bergdorf Goodman’s to dress for the ride. I thought I had brought it off. I thought I had rescued myself. I really did.

Read an excerpt from The Scarf here.
Read an excerpt from Lost and Found here.