Sunday, August 11, 2013
the last book I ever read (Mary Coin by Marisa Silver, excerpt one)
from Marisa Silver's Mary Coin:
The following days are a struggle. There is intermittent rain and it is cold. The cabin Walker rented is small and damp. After an initial burst of excitement about fishing, Alice gives up and spends long hours sitting on rocks by the edge of the Trinity with a blanket wrapped around her or lying in the infrequently appearing splashes of sun. Isaac is a valiant fisherman, but Walker has the feeling his son is summoning interest for his sake. Walker gives in to an emergency trip to the nearest mall and movie theater and an unnecessarily expensive sweater purchase meant to endear him to Alice. When the weekend is finally over, he drives the children back to Petaluma. The rigors of so much concentrated time together sap all three of them, and the quiet in the car has the quality of surrender. Isaac gives Walker a tight hug before dragging his backpack and fishing gear to the house. Alice’s kiss is as frictionless as a bug’s wing. As he watches her walk away, Walker remembers when she was thirteen. He had casually tickled her back only to feel her unexpectedly stiffen. It turned out that she had been wearing her first bra. He supposes the complications of the moment—Alice taking on the habits of womanhood while he tried to drag her back to her childish, sexless self—were too much for her, but the removal stung him just as it does now. The screen door closes before she can get her sleeping bag inside. As she struggles, she sees that he is watching her. Her face forms into a mask of scorn, as if this were his fault, too.