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Beds in the East by Anthony Burgess

By Anthony Burgess

Beds within the East is the 3rd novel in Anthony Burgess's Malayan Trilogy The lengthy Day Wanes.

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There are more single customers to be seen now: someone writing on a laptop, someone text-messaging on a cell phone, another absorbed in reading like Mari, another doing nothing but staring thoughtfully out the window. Maybe they can’t sleep. Maybe they don’t want to sleep. A family restaurant provides such people with a place to park themselves late at night. A large woman charges in as if she could hardly wait for the restaurant’s automatic glass door to open. She is solidly constructed, not fat.

The first one,” he says, holding up a finger, “is that people are all different. Even siblings. ” “True,” he concedes. “Nobody wants to go all the way to Hawaii to stay alive licking frost and eating moss. That’s for sure. ” Mari went on thinking about this for a while, one hand perched on her thick book. ” he asks. ” Mari says nothing. ” Mari maintains her silence. He gives up and continues his meal. This time, he concentrates his attention on the chicken salad and finishes it without a word. He takes his time chewing and drinks a lot of water.

He puts cream in his newly arrived coffee and takes a sip. “When I was in middle school, I happened to buy a jazz record called Blues-ette at a used record store. An old LP. I can’t remember why I bought it at the time. I had never heard any jazz before. But anyway, the first tune on side A was ‘Five Spot After Dark,’ and it was great. A guy named Curtis Fuller played the trombone on it. The first time I heard it, I felt the scales fall from my eyes. That’s it, I thought. That’s the instrument for me.

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