Wednesday, July 2, 2014

the last book I ever read (Richard Ford's Independence Day, excerpt four)

from Independence Day by Richard Ford:

“There’s a prison behind that fence.” Phyllis points out the picture window, across the little spruced-up lawn.

“Is that right?” Joe says, still smiling. He sort of ducks so he can see out the window. “What’s that mean?” He has yet to notice the seepage.

“There’s criminals in cells behind the back yard,” Phyllis says. She looks at Ted Houlihan and tries to seem agreeable, as if this were just an irksome little sticking point to be worked out as a contingency in a contract (“Owner agrees to remove state prison on or before date of closing”). “Isn’t that right,” she asks, her blue eyes larger and intenser than usual.

“Not really cells, per se,” Ted says, thoroughly relaxed. “It’s more like a campus atmosphere—tennis courts, swimming pools, college classes. You can attend classes there yourself. A good many of the residents go home on weekends. I really wouldn’t call it a prison.”

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