Saturday, April 20, 2013

the last book I ever read (Jim Harrison's The River Swimmer, excerpt six)

from The River Swimmer: Novellas (The Land of Unlikeness) by Jim Harrison:

At breakfast, oatmeal and a not ripe banana, which made him crave his New York greengrocer, he became distressed because though she denied it his mother wasn’t feeling up to snuff. It was her atrial fibrillation, unsteady heartbeat, which made her weaker and pale. When he managed to get her to try a bagel with cream cheese and lox she perked up a bit but then admitted that he should run her into the cardiologist after she lay down for a while.

He was disappointed because he wanted to get at his beveled glass painting now that his Masonite rectangles were dry, and then he was embarrassed by his disappointment. After all, he was here to take care of his mother no save what was left of his life, the rock bottom of his intentions. With the situation The Great Doubt began to arise, something that had been with him most poignantly for six decades or so, both philosophically and politically: the conviction that mayhem rules and nothing solidly constructive can be done about anything. This was mostly a mental infirmity borne up under by intellectuals, artists, and writers, but then Clive qualified somewhere in the middle.

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