Thursday, July 27, 2017

the last book I ever read (My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel, excerpt eight)

from My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel by Patricio Pron:

In the lower corner of the article was a photograph. It showed a group of people—perhaps there really were a thousand, as the anonymous writer of the article claims, though it doesn’t look like it—listening to a bald speaker. In the background of the photograph was a church I recognized, with a disproportionately tall tower, which looked like a swan curled up on the shore, stretching out its neck in an attempt to find nourishment. Seeing it, I remembered my father once told me that my paternal great-grandfather had climbed up the old tower, which had been damaged in an earthquake or some other natural disaster, in order to clear out the rubble so it could be rebuilt, but because the tower’s wooden beams were rotted from exposure to the elements, my great-grandfather was risking his life, not to mention the inevitable thread of paternities that led to us; but in that moment I couldn’t remember if my father had told me the story or if it was made up, a flight of fancy based on the similarity between the thinness of the tower and that of my paternal grandfather as I remembered him, and still today I don’t know if it was my paternal great-grandfather or my maternal great-grandfather who climbed the tower, nor do I know if at any point the church tower suffered damage, since there aren’t many earthquakes or natural disasters in El TrĂ©bol.

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