Saturday, April 9, 2016

the last book I ever read (Pat Conroy's My Reading Life, excerpt four)

from My Reading Life by Pat Conroy:

At a later time, I was manning the desk while reading Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill, and growing impatient with the play because I wanted it to be better than it was. I selected all my books for the possibility of some flare of candles along the road toward illumination or enchantment. Often the bookstore frustrated me when my own vast pools of ignorance made me pass by books that contained the real hard stuff I needed to make me dive deeper into the drop-offs in my own imagination. Though I was reading O’Neill’s most accomplished play, he wore me down in gloomy rain forests of dialogue that seemed both exhausting and fruitless. But the moment froze when the front door opened and three large, muscle-bound men walked into the store like an offensive line breaking out of a huddle. The largest man signaled someone outside in a limousine and a lithe, watchful young man with a terrific hat and expensive sunglasses entered the store. When he asked me a question, he appeared shy as a mollusk.

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