Thursday, July 18, 2013

the last book I ever read (Roberto Bolaño's The Skating Rink, excerpt four)

from Roberto Bolaño's The Skating Rink:

. . . I’m a rookie in this hell-hole of a town, said the Rookie when I asked him how he got his name. A rookie, a newbie at the age of forty-eight, a hick who doesn’t know his way around the traps, and has no friends to help him out. He earned a bit of money salvaging stuff from dumpsters, and spent the rest of the day hanging around bars away from the beach, on the edges of Z, where the tourists don’t go, or clinging like a limpet to the ever-unpredictable Carmen. She had dubbed him the Rookie, and it sounded best coming from her: Rookie, do this; Rookie, do that; Tell me your woes, Rookie; Time for a drink, Rookie. When Carmen said “Rookie,” you could hear the background music of an Andalusian street, full of poor draftees on leave, looking for a cheap rooming house or a train to save them from the disaster foreseen in recurring dreams . . .

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