When M. Peel entered the home of the viscount Chateaubriand, he found himself in a study in which all the furniture was oak: the secretary, a millionaire thirty times over, suddenly saw the massive gold and silver furnishings that were cluttering up England crushed by this simplicity.
Honoré de Balzac, Treatise on Elegant Living
The beads were falling singly now, but the hole through which they fell had narrowed, so that some of them missed the mark and bounced back up into the tangible world.
“Why not, indeed?” Sen-sen fumes blew into the black, musty room. Motherball opened an icebox in the shadows and lifted out containers of milk and white rum. He blended them in a battery-driven mixer with crushed cubes, fresh heart of cactus, confectioner’s sugar and shredded coconut. Gnossos’ personal mug was served with a froth of chopped peyote buds, and he tested for the bitterness as he heard, “You’re of course familiar with the works of Vachel Lindsay?”
“Sooooon,” said Mrs. Motherball, mysteriously.
“Little reading thing happening later. Like the sign says.”
“Into Heaven,” came the giggle.
“I’ve got business, Louie.”
Motherball pausing in the glass-wiping to cast a suspicious glance. “Naturally, a little business, good for your head. Drink up, man, you want some surgical tubing, cuts the oxygen, gives a little sidekick.”
Gnossos took the length of rubber and said, “I want to see the Buddha is all.”
–Richard Fariña, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me
Above, Shahzia Sikander, Golden Oasis