Wednesday, June 29, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams, excerpt five)

from The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams:

The Marksman stressed awareness and responsibility and the importance of accuracy and power and speed and commitment and attitude. He said that having a gun was like having a pet or a child. He said there was nothing embarrassing about carrying a gun into public places. You can carry a weapon into any establishment except those that serve liquor, unless you’re requested not to by the operator of that establishment. No one else can tell you, only the operator. Embarrassment is not carrying a gun, the Marksman said. Embarrassment is being a victim, naked, in a bloody lump, gazed upon by strangers. That’s embarrassment, he said.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams, excerpt four)

from The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams:

In New England, Joan discovered that if she slept while it was light she didn’t dream, so she slept in the afternoons and stayed up all night, putting together immense puzzles of Long Island Sound. She lived in terror, actually, but it was rootless, because the worst had already happened. She referred to the days behind her as “those so-called days.”



Monday, June 27, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams, excerpt three)

from The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams:

They are getting rid of the dog. Jackson has been putting ads in the paper. He is enjoying this. He has been advertising for weeks. The dog is free and many people call. Jackson refuses all callers. For three weekends now, he and Jane have talked about nothing except the dog. They will simplify their life and they cannot stop thinking about it, this dog, this act, this choice that lies before them.

The dog has crammed itself behind the pipes beneath the kitchen sink. David squats before him, blowing gently on his nose. The dog thumps his tail on the linoleum.

“We’re getting rid of you, you know,” David says.



Sunday, June 26, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams, excerpt two)

from The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams:

That night, the house was quiet. Constance lay behind Ben on their bed and nuzzled his hair. “Talk to me,” Constance said.

“That’s just alliteration,” Constance said. “Talk to me some more.” But Ben didn’t say much more.

“William Gass said that lovers are alike as lightbulbs,” Ben said. “That’s just alliteration,” Constance said. “Talk to me some more.” But Ben didn’t say much more.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams, excerpt one)

from The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams:

Jones and his wife have one child, a daughter, who, in turn, has a single child, a girl born six months ago. Jones’s daughter has fallen in with the stars and is using the heavens, as Jones would be the first to admit, more than he ever has. It has, however, brought her only grief and confusion. She has left her husband and brought the baby to Jones. She has also given him her dog. She is going to Mexico, where soon, in the mountains, she will have a nervous breakdown. Jones does not know this, but his daughter has seen it in the stars and is going out to meet it. Jones quickly agrees to care for both the baby and the dog, as this seems to be the only thing his daughter needs from him. The day of the baby’s birth is secondary to the positions of the planets and the terms of houses, quadrants and gradients. Her symbol is a bareback rider. To Jones, this is a graceful thought. It signifies audacity. It also means luck. Jones slips some money in the pocket of his daughter’s suitcase and drives her to the airport. The plane taxis down the runway and Jones waves, holding all their luck in his arms.



Friday, June 24, 2016

the last book I ever read (Donald Antrim's The Hundred Brothers, excerpt twelve)

from The Hundred Brothers: A Novel by Donald Antrim:

Before I could put on the mask I had to get the rest of my costume in order. As a rule this is not difficult because my costume consists only of nakedness. Primitive, elementary, unencumbered, old-fashioned, barbaric, vulnerable, willing, childlike nakedness.



Thursday, June 23, 2016

the last book I ever read (Donald Antrim's The Hundred Brothers, excerpt eleven)

from The Hundred Brothers: A Novel by Donald Antrim:

“Hmn. Hiram was an excellent ball carrier at one time, but he’s too frail for contact sports now.” These words were followed by silence between us, respectful contemplation of the sage man’s gridiron days, I suppose. Finally Seamus announced, “We’re all going to grow old and die.”