Sunday, May 26, 2013

the last book I ever read (Rabbit, Run by John Updike, excerpt two)

from John Updike's Rabbit, Run:

He accelerates. The growing complexity of lights threatens him. He is being drawn into Philadelphia. He hates Philadelphia. Dirtiest city in the world, they live on poisoned water, you can taste the chemicals. He wants to go south, down, down the map into orange groves and smoking rivers and barefoot women. It seems simple enough, drive all night through the dawn through the morning through the noon park on a beach take off your shoes and fall asleep by the Gulf of Mexico. Wake up with the stars above perfectly spaced in perfect health. But he is going eat, the worst direction, into unhealthy, soot, and stink, a smothering hole where you can’t move without killing somebody. Yet the highway sucks him on, and a sign says POTTSTOWN 2. He almost brakes. But then he thinks.

If he is heading east, south is on his right. And then, as if the world were just standing around waiting to serve his thoughts, a broad road to the right is advertised, ROUTE 100 WEST CHESTER WILMINGTON. Route 100 has a fine ultimate sound. He doesn’t want to go to Wilmington but it’s the right direction. He’s never been to Wilmington. The du Ponts own it. He wonders what it’s like to make it to a du Pont.

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