19. Lot 49

So began, for Oedipa, the languid,
Sinister blooming of “The Tristero.
Or rather, her attendance at some unique performance,
Prolonged as if it were the last of the night,
something a little extra for whoever’d stayed this late.
As if the breakaway gowns, net bras, jeweled garters and G-strings of historical figuration that would fall away
were layered as dense as Oedipas own street clothes in that game with Metzger in front of the Baby Igor movie;
As if a plunge toward dawn indefinite black hours long
would indeed be necessary before the Tristero could be revealed in its terrible nakedness.
Would it instead, the dance ended
come back down the runway, its luminous stare locked to Oedipa’s,
smile gone malign and pitiless;
Bend to her along among the desolate rows of seats
and begin to speak words she never wanted to hear?

-Thomas Pynchon, the Crying of Lot 49

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