Sunday, April 30, 2017

the last book I ever read (South and West: From A Notebook by Joan Didion, excerpt nine)

from South and West: From A Notebook by Joan Didion:

We stopped at Walker Percy’s in Covington, Louisiana. We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skiers on the black bayou water. “The South,” he said, “owes a debt to the North . . . tore the Union apart once . . . and now only the South can save the North.” He said he had not wanted to see us in New Orleans, at Ben C.’s, because at Ben C.’s he was always saying thing he would not ordinarily say, playing a role. Greenville, he said, was a different kind of town. He had spent some time in Los Angeles once but could not face it. “It was the weather,” his wife said mildly. “The weather was bad.” “It wasn’t the weather,” he said, and he knew exactly what it was.

Crossing the Pontchartrain bridge, the gray water, the gray causeway, the gray skyline becoming apparent in the far distance just about the time you lose sight of the shore behind you. The sight of New Orleans coming up like a mirage from about the midway point on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

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