‘Search Through The Streets Of The City’ by Irwin Shaw

Shaw, Irwin 1942

Search Through The Streets Of The City by Irwin Shaw, 1942

The magic trick:

Capturing well the feeling of having said too much

There is a feeling, I’m not proud to admit I’ve known on more than one occasion, in which a person in a flurry of emotion loses track of right and wrong. This person must express their feelings at all cost, putting the receiver in an impossible and, usually unfair, position. The guilty party almost immediately realizes the mistake, knows the expression will not be reciprocated, and the whole scene ends very badly. It’s not pleasant, but it happens, as this story bears witness. And that’s quite a trick on Shaw’s part.

The selection:

“Two years,” Paul said. “I’ve gone out with a lot of girls in the last two years.” He shrugged. “They’ve bored me and I’ve bored them. I keep looking at every woman who passes to see if it’s you. All the girls I go out with bawl the hell out of me for it. I’ve been walking around, following girls with dark hair to see if it’ll turn out to be you, and girls with a fur jacket like that old one you had, and girls that walk in that silly, beautiful way you walk. I’ve been searching the streets of the city for you for two years and this is the first time I’ve admitted it even to myself…”


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