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Habeas Blogus

Book reviews, more for my memory than anything else.

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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Started 6/6, Finished 6/9

Words strewn like black ash over the pulpy compost of tree sediment. Pages that flip by before you can shield your mind from the blood and pus. Dappled letters like crisped blades of grass, crunching under your feet as you troll the wasted countryside, never more immersed than at the moment you read it. I look up, and the boy is sitting at my feet. Modernity and ancient history, living and breathing, surround me.

"Deedah? What we going have for dinner tonight?"

"We're having sandwiches."

"Can we have soup? Is there soup? Can we have soup? I hungry."

"Yes. We can have soup."

"Can we have fizzy water?"

"Yes."

"Are you going have wine?"

"Yes, I'll probably have a glass."

"Mommy going have wine too."

"Okay."

"Okay."

I look back down. The words tumble over my head again, pushing against my brain and boring their way inside. You don't even notice the crozzled bones after a while. You used to notice them, back in the beginning, when you were naive about the world, when it was all new. Then you just wanted it to stop. Now you hardly notice them except as grisly breadcrumbs, marking your path, preventing a desparate walk in circles.

How many bullets are left in the gun? Where will you sleep tonight? When your muscles are stretched like guitar strings and your feet crack with each step? One wheel on the shopping cart wobbles and you count the ball bearing clicks, humming a song that will never be sung again.

"Deedah? Are you going make dinner soon?"

"Come here for a second."

The boy trots over, hair gleaming like fire and looking at me like I have every answer. I look at him for three or four seconds, then pull him to me. He wraps his arms around my shoulders and makes a sound like groaning, to mimic whatever despairing utterance escapes my throat.

"I love you, boy."

"Oh! I love you sooooooooo much," he says, and smiles, his lips glossy with saliva. He runs off to the kitchen to bang on the pots and pans. Our evening ritual.

I put down the book and make dinner, the heat on the stove lower than usual. Today, nothing in my suddenly palatial estate will be crozzled.

Book #16 will be Wine & War, by Don & Petie Kladstrup

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3 Comments:

Blogger Jess said...

Beautiful.

Thu Jul 12, 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Anne Uumellmahaye said...

Is the reason why book #16 and book #17 were really Harry Potter and not Wine & War because you want to be naive about the world again?

Yeah, me too.

Mon Jul 16, 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

Heh, actually Harry Potter will be books 19 & 20... I'm just really far behind...

Mon Jul 16, 03:13:00 PM  

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