showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering
“I used to try to forget about you,” Randy “the Ram,” a washed-up pro wrestler played by a
haggard Mickey Rourke, says to his daughter.
foul and run-down and repulsive
We both stood in the doorway, looking at my studio. He was right: it was
squalid. Dirty clothes littered the floor. The trash can was overflowing.
That night I tossed and turned, filled with
misgivings about my life.
influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
“Come on!” he said, but stopped his
cajoling when he sensed my anxiety.
fall away or decline
I would soon learn firsthand that this kind of illness often
ebbs and flows, leaving the sufferer convinced that the worst is over, even when it’s only retreating for a moment before pouncing again.
in a lethargic manner
“Come on by,” she said
put on clothes
She wore rows of pentacles and flowing Stevie Nicks-style clothes, and even
donned a black cape in winter.
inborn or existing naturally
There was something attractive about her energy, and despite my
innate skepticism of witchcraft and religion overall, I found myself wanting to believe.
overcome or allay
I put my hand to my chest to
quell my racing heart and told myself to breathe.
shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
My mind wandered through this
macabre subject as I stood smiling blandly at him and his manicured publicist.
the expression of excessive emotion, enthusiasm, or pleasure
Walsh smiled with kindness, possibly accustomed to this type of eccentric
effusiveness that was in fact divorced from my typical interview style.
a sudden and complete disaster
I don’t remember how I got home after the interview or how I filled the hours in the wake of yet another professional
debacle, but after still another sleepless night—it had now been over a week since I’d slept fully—I headed to the office.
I had walked through Times Square twice a day for six months, but today, once I hit the rows of billboards at its center I was accosted by its
causing weakness or debilitation
There seemed to be something exquisite about that rush; it was simultaneously
enervating and thrilling.
liable to sudden unpredictable change
Every day my behavior had been growing increasingly
a small or minor detail
I fixated on anything my mind could grasp, picking apart the
minutiae of my life, anything that felt uncertain.
expressing contempt or ridicule
I shot her a
derisive look, heavy with loathing.
lifted up or set high
I was fine. Not fine. Happy. No, not happy,
sublime, better than I had ever felt in my entire life.
devote oneself entirely to something
I wanted to dance or sing, something, anything except sit here and
wallow in imaginary misery.
a psychotic disorder characterized by distortions of reality
She began wearing bright, inappropriate makeup and acting strange, and she was later diagnosed with
a rapid and irregular heart beat
I tried to ignore the heart
palpitations and the sweat forming on my brow.
radically new or original
The rugs, which looked as if they belonged in an
avant-garde production of Lawrence of Arabia, swirled before me.
not corresponding in character or kind
I had been thinking about all of that, but it was a struggle to make one detail fit well enough to solve the entire problem, like jamming together pieces from
incongruent sets of puzzles.
politely refuse or take exception to
As Batali ate luscious eggs and meat, she toyed with a thin goat’s-milk yogurt, and when he offered her a bite of his dish, she
an attitude of arrogant superiority
“Hold on,” he retorted. “I can’t see you on that
high horse of yours.”