Thursday, March 8, 2018

the last book I ever read (Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, excerpt three)

from Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders:

I have one thousand three hundred dollars in the First Bank. In an upstairs room I will not specify I have four thousand in gold coin. I have two horses and fifteen goats and thirty-one chickens and seventeen dresses, worth, in total, some three thousand, eight hundred dollars. But am a widow. What seems like abundance is in fact scarcity. The tide runs out but never runs in. The stones roll downhill but do not roll back up. Therefore you will understand my reluctance to indulge in wastefulness. I have over four hundred twigs and nearly sixty pebbles of various sizes. I have two dead-bird parts, dirt motes too numerous to count. Before retiring I count my dead-bird parts, twigs, pebbles, and motes, rending each with my teeth to ensure all are still real. Upon waking I often find myself short several items. Proving the presence of thieves and justifying those tendencies for which many here (I know they do) judge me harshly. But they are not old women, menaced by frailty, surrounded by enemies, the tide going only out, out, out…

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