Friday, November 25, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty, excerpt six)

from The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty:

I balked at telling her about my father locking my head into the tachistoscope and for three hours flashing split-second images of the forbidden fruit of his era, pinups and Playboy centerfolds, in my face. Bettie Page, Betty Grable, Barbra Streisand, Twiggy, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn, Sophia Loren; then he’d force ipecac and okra smoothies down my throat. I’d vomit my guts out while he blasted Buffy Saint-Marie and Linda Ronstadt on the stereo. The visual stimuli worked, but the auditory stuff didn’t take. To this day, whenever I’m feeling down and troubled, I crank Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King from the stereo, all of who were shouting-out California way before Biggie, Tupac, or any of the Ice Coons. But if you look carefully, and the light is just right, you can see the afterimages of Barbi Benton’s naked centerfold burned into my pupils as if they were discount plasma TVs.

“It’s nothing. I just don’t like white girls is all.”

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