Thursday, March 12, 2020

the last book I ever read (Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner, excerpt four)

from Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner:

After the short time with her husband came the long years in which she had supported herself and her child by various jobs, each a little worse than the one before. Her efforts to remain genteel had been eroded under the onslaught of a thousand little denigrating waves, each one mild but their multiplication deadly over the years. Gradually she had given up, not even knowing it herself, so that she had become careless and slovenly, forgetting the earlier promises she had made to herself.

As a result of her gradual slipping into the lethargy of poverty, Ken had been thrown more and more into the streets, which had been allowed to shape him. At first she had tried to halt or neutralize this with things she wanted him to believe, but all her efforts were parried by the boy’s stubbornness.

She sensed he was ashamed of her and ashamed of the life she had made for him. This knowledge had not angered her, for she was glad that he did not take poverty as his due, and she knew that some day he would struggle to break away from it. It was important to her that some day he should.

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