your voice is funny

quilty, great to see you. Can i share a paragraph from the introduction-by-the-author of the LM collection I am now reading——

A man takes a novel to the beach. While reading, his attention wanders to an attactive woman nearby. She invites him to lie beside her. He does and he attempts to continue reading, though she is offering sex. He isn’t averse, but he wants to finish the novel. She continues offering. He continues being not averse. She becomes exasperated, and takes off her bathing suit. He puts his novel aside, after noting the page he was reading, and they have sex abruptly. They please each other, but the solicitations of the inner life, and the allure of the outer world, are never reconciled.

——

okay, me again from now on. I didn’t include the paragraph’s last sentence because of typographical reservations. Almost every paragraph in the introduction sounds like the opening paragraph of a potential introduction, and this is the best one, I think, better than the one about the sixties and the one about the princess, because it’s all true. “She becomes exasperated, and takes off her bathing suit.” Yesterday in Radioshack waiting to be rung up for two products that right now are doing about a third of what I wanted them to do I watched two men, a clerk and an older fella, have this conversation (I am translating, so this could be incorrect): “Where is it.” “The other side.” “Where is it.” “The other side.” “Where is it.” “The other side.” And then the older fella became exasperated and took off his bathing suit. Today around 17th and Noe a pickup truck with six of seven Mexican (yes? South/Central American?) family members in it hit a limousine, that was interesting, I’ll bet. I got there afterward, while a police officer was leading the family toward his patrol car, away from the seething limousine driver. Did they arrest all of them? How many traffic accidents are caused yearly by distracted miscalculations of vehicle length? Don’t answer that.

“I’ll just stay in here,” he said, reaching up to twist the bulb. “There’s powdered milk and cereal.” He would wait it out, and then when they’d left their garrisons he’d emerge fortified by food products and solitude, ready to resume doing the things he’d left off to embed himself in the cellar, which wasn’t how he’d remembered it. There was cereal but someone had spread out the powdered milk into particles so fine that they floated like dust motes and settled on his skin to be reborn as bad milk when the roaring furnace ordered perspiration out of his every pore, as it did. “I forgot about the furnace,” he thought, shitty milk running into his eyes. He took off his shirt and his pants and ran his hands over his arms, trying to whisk the awful rivulets off of him before they began to evaporate and took on solid form for the second time as an unremovable residue that would smell bad. “It’s like I’m a nipple,” he thought, and he was thinking of an animal, not a person, when he thought this. The furnace kept roaring, spurring the process forward. Its plan had worked.

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4 thoughts on “your voice is funny

  1. quilty

    Paula Fox is to Courtney Love as Leonard Michaels is to Jesse Michaels. More examples of staid fictioneer elder and raucous/rockin offspring? Josie Updike was in L7, just kidding. We are basically IMing in the office right now, it’s bittersweet.

    Reply

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