Occasionally, one gets trapped in a novel.

Hello, readers! Here’s a small, silly thing I wrote: How To Tell You’re In A Patricia Highsmith Novel.
It’s a tricky thing, ending up in such a grim literary world. You’ve got to know how to spot these things before anyone invites you out on their boat. How do you know when you’ve gotten trapped in a novel?

1) You have committed a murder and consequently obtained everything you ever wanted.
2) You have committed a murder and consequently lost everything good you ever had.
3) You love art. You’d do anything for art. Anything.
4) Your housekeeper is comically French and unusually discreet.
5) Your wife is charmingly French and not overly inquisitive.
6) The gossip surrounding your name is horribly, horribly true.
7) Your letters, diaries and legal documents are nothing but lies.
8) There is a man. You wish you were more like him. Soon, he will be dead.

9) You consider with great care: the health of your forsythia. Which painting to have re-framed. The light in the drawing room. The boat in Italy.
10) A man may have been rude to you once.  Soon, his fortunes will be ruined, his legacy tarnished and he will be dead.
11) You have the oddest conception of what a game is.
12) You do so look forward to your harpsichord lessons.
13) Your Italian is improving. You speak it better than he ever did.
14) Who is that man watching you from the road?
15) You are charming over drinks and witty at dinner.
16) You write about men like the spider writes about the fly.
17) Everyone in the cafe knows your young lover was recently murdered.
18) The croissants are warming for breakfast. Coffee is made.
19) You cook such rich, delicious food for your husband. What a good wife you must be.
20 ) Your son has been spending so much time with his ailing great-uncle. What a good boy he must be.
21) You dislike someone in your social circle. Soon, he will be dead but how on Earth could that be your fault?
22) You have never committed murder, but you can’t seem to prove it.
23) You are in the garden when the telephone rings.
24) Wives and fathers often give you a problem.
25) Problems are often solved by murder.
26) God came to you late, but he did come.

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