Make-Believe Ballrooms

Make-Believe Ballrooms

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Dark days for Hal Andrews, New York artist and scion of an eccentric New England family. His cat has just died in a plunge from his apartment window. His brother Beck, manic-depressive and hopelessly nostalgic, is about to marry Lisa Lyman, heiress to the Family Wipes fortune and certifiably the worlda€™s most abominable girl. Their sister Fishie, an Olympic swimming champion who uses her television appearances to berate Hal, has recently shaved her head bald. And their father is withholding Hala€™s inheritance until he becomes more responsible, or at least until hea€™s sixty-five. Hala€™s artwork clutters the floors of his girlfrienda€™s apartment and does about as much for his putative gallery. Hoping for a genius grant and settling for a decrepit dog and a derisive girlfriend, Hala€™s optimism begins to wane as he descends a€œinto a moody twilit world of obscure urban horror.a€ Therefore, when a wrong number from out of town walks into his life, the situation is grim. Mary-Ann Beavers and her hostile brother arrive in New York via Greyhound, in search of celebrities and success, both rare commodities back home in Patent, Texas. She snaps her chewing gum and writes wretched poetry; her brother has bad teeth and a temper to match. While Mary-Ann stalks Liza Minnelli in the supermarket and treasures the autograph of Dustin Hoffmana€™s agenta€™s sister, a darkness that lasts for days falls over Hala€™s new but awful apartment. There is light, however, at the end of the tunnel, and Hal, in spite of himself, will bask in it. Make-Believe Ballrooms captures the true contemporary dilemma in this tale of Hala€™s decline and rehabilitation in much-too-postmodern New York.I make the combs antiseptic, junk like that, even though I spat in the jar once a#39; cause Mom was about to cut the hair of my greatest enemy, this girl you ... She says therea#39;s a zillion microdot bugs you cana#39;t see in human hair and your eyebrows.

Title:Make-Believe Ballrooms
Author:Peter J. Smith
Publisher:Atlantic Monthly Press - 1994-01


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