Tuesday, July 26, 2016

the last book I ever read (James Baldwin's Another Country, excerpt four)

from Another Country by James Baldwin:

He crossed the Avenue. He wanted to go home and he wanted to eat and he wanted to get drunk and, also, perhaps out of simple fury, he wanted to get laid—but he did not feel that anything good would happen to him tonight. And he felt that if he were a real writer, he would simply go home and work and throw everything else out of his mind, as Balzac had done and Proust and Joyce and James and Faulkner. But perhaps they had never held in their minds the nameless things he held in his. He felt a very peculiar, a deadly resignation: he knew that he would not go home until it was too late for him to go anywhere else, or until Ida answered the phon. Ida: and he felt an eerie premonition, as though he were old, walking years from now through familiar streets where no one knew or noticed him, thinking of his lost love, and wondering, Where is she now? Where is she now? He passed the movie theater and the tough boys and tough men who always stood outside it. It was ten o’clock. He turned west in Waverly Place and walked to a crowded bar where he could get a hamburger. He forced himself to have a hamburger and a beer before he called his apartment again. There was no answer. He went back to the bar and ordered a whiskey and realized that he was running out of money. If he were going to keep on drinking he would have to go to Benno’s, where he had a tab.

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