Sunday, May 3, 2015

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

from The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink:

Otherwise Stephen was never mad at coworkers. He got along beautifully with his bosses and subordinates. Everyone liked him. They liked his work on the new stent. They admired his pretty wife with the orthodox-Jewish-looking outfits, but hey, not her fault Americans are dowdy. They frowned at her pregnancy no sooner announced than cancelled. One thing he never told them about: birds. The company employed expert tax evasion consultants, semi-closeted gray-market OTC pirates, hail-fellow-well-met good old boy executives who laughed off multi-million-dollar fines for taking risks that killed people, PR hacks who wrote threatening letters to Nelson Mandela about socialized medicine. They practiced twenty-seven kinds of window-dressing and I had typed letters about them all. But even the veterinarian in regulatory affairs whose life was spent tweaking a children’s book about cats that sing opera was less secretive than Stephen. No one at the company knew that Stephen birded, not even Omar’s wife. I only learned the truth when he pressed my wedding present into my hand: two-thousand-dollar binoculars.

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