Friday, August 21, 2015

the last book I ever read (Mat Johnson's Pym, excerpt three)

from Pym: A Novel by Mat Johnson:

Once the community center had been entered it was rather easy to locate the dozen or so NAACG members. This was not because the group looked like Native Americans; to my eyes, they looked like any gathering of black American folks, some tan and most brown. What distinguished this group was their attire. The first man I saw in the room had a full Stegosaurus spine of white feathers that reached all the way down to his moccasins. He was sitting on the edge of a metal foldout chair trying not to harm his plumage while he sipped his coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts cup. As I walked in with Mrs. Mathis on my arm, he turned toward us and the red war paint he had on his nose and cheeks spread as he smiled. Others in the room were more muted in their attire, but all seemed to have their flair. By the open box of donuts a woman wore a casual coat made of simulated Hopi cloth. Over by the blackboard a tall, slender brother chuckled and chatted on his cell phone, his raised hand a miniature museum of turquoise finger ornaments. Past him, a portly man with chemically relaxed hair tied into two greasy ponytails twirled one of those wet ropes with his finger as he waited for the meeting to begin. The only person besides myself who was not outfitted in some form of indigenous attire was a brown-skinned woman in a pink raincoat sitting in the farthest chair from the door as she read a magazine, but clearly she was the waiting escort of someone in the group.

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