I Hear You’re Rich | Diane Williams | Granta

I Hear You’re Rich

Diane Williams

‘I am afraid I’ve overdone it,’ Connie said, and she patted her belly, and from the street I heard a hammer that was hitting metal somewhere.

I was eating their fish and little cakes that had cheese in them, and vegetables that can stink up one’s breath after they are eaten – endives and radishes. And I was fortunate to know them – Constance and George Mock.

‘Can you give me some of your money? I hear you’re rich,’ I said because of the wine.

Connie said, ‘Rosie!’

‘Let’s call that a joke,’ George said. ‘That was a joke,’

I was mortified – also tearful because they had decided to leave town.

I am too old for this – but I am still unmistakably in need of parents, and the Mocks know this. They also know that their sad daughter Stephanie has always called me her best friend.

‘Can you get coffee for us, George?’ Connie said.

I could see Mr. Mock in the kitchen, stepping across their checkerboard floor, onto the black squares only, diagonally, so then I jumped up and I hopscotched in to help him.



The Mocks kindly took me along to their island house where Connie gifted me a charm – a carved limestone bird whose smile, I think, looks like a smirk.

‘I hope you will wear it,’ she said. ‘I hope you will love it.’

Arnold Turner, their neighbor, came by and he tugged at my arm and he said, ‘Did you mean her for me?’

‘Arnold, look what we did!’ George said, pointing toward their flowing grasses, the tropical flowers.

‘I prefer the woods!’ Mr. Turner said. ‘My daughter has the woods!  My son has the sea! What do you have?’ he asked me. ‘I expect you have a career?’

‘Yes, I do,’ I answered.

He had no further questions. His lips were shut, hands clasped, but his chin is dimpled just like my brother’s is.

So Mr. Turner did not have to wait days before we were alone in the throes and he was sweating and puffing in my company.

What a relief. Peace at last. I am highly sexed.

Many persons in the past have also given me their all – Dylan, Andy, Chris, Matt, Connor and Bill Kawa, and Judd Friedenberg.

Food was forever being served at the Mocks and when I woke, I could just grab for something to eat – as if the biscuits and breads were dangling from branches.

My breakfast was ample enough to last the whole the day and then I’d head for their pool where the luncheon buffet was spread out at one end.

Yes, I swim. I think it is the closest thing to walking on air, although it is strenuous.

I lie down and I face the world there.


Image © Thomas Quine

Diane Williams

Diane Williams is the author of eleven books of fiction, including I Hear You’re Rich, just out from Soho Press (USA) and Scribe (UK).  She is also the founder and editor of the distinguished literary annual NOON. She lives in New York City.

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