‘Nobody In Hollywood’ by Richard Bausch

Nobody In Hollywood by Richard Bausch, 1996

The magic trick:

The scene in the kitchen

Truthfully, not my favorite Bausch story. I’m not sure I can stitch the pieces, coincidences, ideas or themes together into any larger meanings.

The first half, though, is excellent, particularly the dynamic between the narrator and his older brother. The mix of humor and sadness established through one conversation in a kitchen is remarkable.

I was let down by where the story went from there, but that extended scene alone is worth the price of admission.

And that’s quite a trick on Bausch’s part.

The selection:

“I have to fresh up,” she said after we’d been through the introductions. She went into the bathroom and closed the door with a delicate little click of the latch. Then we heard what sounded like water being poured out of a big vat into other water.

Doke turned to me. “Well?” he said. “Right?”

“Jesus Christ,” I said. I thought he meant the sound.

“Isn’t she beautiful?”

I said, “Right.”

“You ever see anything …,” he said. He was standing by the table, tottering a little, holding onto the back of the chair. “You know?”

I said, “Yeah.”

He pulled the chair out and sat down, and ran his hands through his hair. “Just,” he said. “Really.”

I nodded.

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