Sunday, May 10, 2015

the last book I ever read (Nell Zink's The Wallcreeper, excerpt nine)

from The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink:

We went back to Albania in October. Instead of sticking to the coast, we headed up into the mountains by bus—the Bjeshkët e Namuna, the “enchanted” or “cursed” mountains, depending on your perspective.

You can get tired of Albanian buses if you value fresh air or your life. Two villages after Thethi, Stephen suggested horses. I found out something that I hadn’t known. He couldn’t walk uphill. He would take ten steps up a mild grade and then wait.

That sort of explained why he had commuted so cheerfully by car between our first apartment and the corporate campus and didn’t like downtown Berne. And why he loved Berlin (flat as a pancake) and never visited my sister. And rented that place that was almost a basement, and drove up roads in Switzerland it had been totally illegal to drive up, and gave the appearance of being addicted to pills: Stephen had a bad heart.

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