Excerpt from “A Miscellany of Characters That Will Not Appear”
By John Cheever
OFF THE WALL
… The pretty girl at the Princeton-Dartmouth rugby game. She wandered up and down behind the crowd that was ranged along the foul line. She seemed to have no date, no particular companion but to be known to everyone.
Everyone called her name, everyone was happy to see her, and, as she stopped to speak with friends, one man put his hand flat on the small of her back, and at this touch (in spite of the fine weather and the green of the playing field) a dark and thoughtful look came over his face, as if he felt immortal longings.
Her hair was a fine dark gold, and she pulled a curl down over her eyes and peered through it. Her nose was a little too quick, but the effect was sensual and aristocratic, her arms and legs were round and fine but not at all womanly, and she squinted her violet eyes.
It was the first half, there was no score, and Dartmouth kicked the ball offside. It was a muffed kick, and it went directly into her arms. The catch was graceful; she seemed to have been chosen to receive the ball and stood there for a second, smiling, bowing, observed by everyone, before she tossed it charmingly and clumsily back into play.
There was some applause. Then everyone turned their attention from her back to the field, and a second later she dropped to her knees, covering her face with her hands, recoiling violently from the excitement. She seemed very shy.
Someone opened a can of beer and passed it to her, and she stood and wandered again along the foul line and out of the pages of my novel because I never saw her again.
The following artists were featured in the soundtrack:
Please visit these artists on Bandcamp and download their songs. Reverb Raccoon thanks everyone who contributed to this post, including John Cheever and especially the pretty girl at the Princeton-Dartmouth rugby game.