Ghost Within A Ghost

Last night I was working on a scene in my novel, inspired in part by a passage from Eugene O’Neill, from his play Long Day’s Journey Into Night. You can find scenes on YouTube.

Here’s my paragraph:

We turned off Main onto Graces Road, toward the orchard, and went on in silence. We drove on under a heavier band of rain, and I turned on the wipers again. We listened to them squeak back and forth. Bo looked out at the endless empty fields of grape stalks and I just drove. I kept both hands on the wheel because life felt terribly fragile. Soon, we had the house in sight. Every winter, Dad had the trees around it pruned strictly back to their bare branches and trunks, so that in summer they’d grow out full and green. When my pickup turned off the road, the shape of the house stood gray on gray against the dripping sky. It looked like the house was drowning in the rain.

And here’s a true master:

The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted — to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned along ago. As if I was a ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.

This version of the scene is a bit abridged. My favorite is the one with Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, et. al. You can watch the play entirely here: