The Gilded Razor: A Memoir

The Gilded Razor: A Memoir

by Sam Lansky


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476776156
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 391,969
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Sam Lansky is an editor at TIME. He has written for New York magazine, The Atlantic, Esquire, Out, and Grantland.

Read an Excerpt

The Gilded Razor

  • For many years after it was over, there were songs I could not listen to, for fear they would take me back there; certain photographs that made me clench my jaw in a particular way; and street corners where, crossing from a subway exit to reach an appointment or a restaurant, I would flash back momentarily to a long-forgotten winter night years earlier and see myself, seventeen years old and spectral in the lamplight, stumbling out of a brownstone with a runny nose and my fly unzipped. My hair would have been too long, probably, from always taking the money my father gave me for a haircut and using it to buy drugs. (“What do you mean, ‘It doesn’t look any different’?” I’d ask, always doe-eyed.) My hands would have been wedged into my pockets because I always forgot to wear gloves. And I would have been walking briskly back to my father’s apartment, eager to get into bed and pretend it never happened.

    I say that I would have done so because so often I did, but if I could, I would do it differently. Memory is a funny type of haunting. The subconscious keeps chewing away at sins atoned for long ago. Even after everything has been set right, the body doesn’t forget the places it’s been.

    Stockholm. I sleep badly, tossing and turning in my hotel room. In the night, I awake from strange, listless dreams. The furniture turns to gold when I touch it, then crumbles into dust, silken as ash. I’m just tired, I tell myself; it’s just jet lag—the foreignness of a new place. One morning I wake up and the bed is full of glitter. I fall back asleep, and when I awake again, the sheets are crisp and white as fresh snow.

    At a fancy party, there’s a champagne toast; I hold my glass up to the light, watching the bubbles fizzle and break as they meet the surface. I set it down on the table unsipped. I am used to that by now. It may not always get better, but it will always get different. That was the promise—the only promise.

    There are ghosts around every corner. At a cocktail bar in Södermalm: I am alone at a table, writing in a notebook, when I see a man I recognize, although I can’t say from where. He smiles at me—he knows me, too, and more intimately than I know him. He has a handsome, doleful face. Faces like that all blur together for me now. His name could be Jim, or Steve. He could be an investment banker or a surgeon or a congressman.

    He approaches me. Slowly, he reaches out to touch my face and presses a finger against my cheek. I want to ask what he’s doing, but instead I just sit there, frozen. He raises his hand to show me. On the tip of his thumb, there is a speck of glitter.

    “Where did that come from?” I ask. We both begin to laugh.

    I don’t go home with him because things are different now. But that night, alone in my room, I dream of falling down the stairs in a town house in Boston. I dream that I’m running through the ruddy desert of Utah, with no shoes on, under a silver moon.

    I dream that my apartment is full of snow, and there are wolves at the foot of the bed, nipping at my ankles.

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    The Gilded Razor: A Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    First, Sam Lansky can WRITE! You will feel every word on the page. Second, this book is for parents as a reminder to NEVER EVER give up on your children. Sam made it out, so can they. ~*~LEB~*~