Friday, January 27, 2017

the last book I ever read (Wonder Boys: A Novel by Michael Chabon, excerpt five)

from Wonder Boys: A Novel by Michael Chabon:

I remember that I had been dangling unhappily from the rope of my new life as an English professor in Pittsburgh for about three months, friendless, bored, and living alone in a cramped flat over a Ukrainian coffee shop on the South Side, when Crabtree showed up, dressed in a knee-length leather policeman’s coat, with a sheet of Mickey Mouse acid and sixty-five hundred dollars in severance pay from a men’s fashion magazine that had just decided to fire its literary editor and get out of the unprofitable fiction business once and for all. I was so glad to see him. We set out immediately to reconnoiter the bars of my new hometown—Danny’s, Jimmy Post’s, the Wheel, all of them gone now—landing in the Hat, on a Saturday night, when the Blue Roosters, the house band at that time, were joined onstage by a visiting Rufus Thomas. We were not only drunk but tripping our brains out, and thus our initial judgment of the welcome the Hat afforded us and of the level of the entertainment was not entirely accurate—we were under the impression that everybody there loved us, and as I recall we also believed that Rufus was singing the French lyrics of “My Way” to the tune of “Walkin’ the Dog.” At a certain point in the evening, furthermore, one of the patrons was badly beaten, out in the alley, and came stumbling back into the Hat with his ear hanging loose; Crabtree and I, having consumed four orders of barbecued ribs, then spent a fiery half hour unconsuming them, taking turns over the toilet in the men’s room. We’d been going back ever since, every time Crabtree came to town.

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