ollowing years of unrequited love, an out-of-work schoolteacher decides to take matters into his own hands, triggering a chain of events that neither he nor his psychiatrist could have anticipated. At once a psychological thriller and a social critique, SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY is a story of obsessive love in an age of obsessive materialism.
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September 22, 2005
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Excerpt from Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman
1. He nearly called you again last night. Can you imagine that, after all this time He can. He imagines calling you or running into you by chance. Depending on the weather, he imagines you in one of those cotton dresses of yours with flowers on it or in faded blue jeans and a thick woollen button-up cardigan over a checked shirt, drinking coffee from a mug, looking through your tortoiseshell glasses at a book of poetry while it rains. He thinks of you with your hair tied back and that characteristic sweet scent on your neck. He imagines you this way when he is on the train, in the supermarket, at his parents' house, at night, alone, and when he is with a woman.
He is wrong, though. You didn't read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry, but you didn't. If pressed, he confesses to an imprecise recollection of what it was you read and, anyway, it wasn't your reading that started this. It was the laughter, the carefree laughter, the three-dimensional Coca-Cola advertisement that you were, the try-anything-once friends, the imperviousness to all that came before you, the chain telephone calls, the in-jokes, the instant music, the sunlight you carried with you, the way he felt when you spoke to his parents, the introductory undergraduate courses, the inevitability of your success, the beach houses, the white lace underwear, the private dancing, the good-graced acceptance of part-time shift work, the apparent absence of expectations, the ever-changing disposable cults of the rural, the family, the eastern, the classical, the modern, the postmodern, the impoverished, the sleekly deregulated, the orgasm, the feminine, the feminist, and then the way you canceled with the air of one making a salad.