Saturday, May 2, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Sweet Science by A. J. Liebling, excerpt thirteen)

from The Sweet Science by A. J. Liebling:

I slept late myself next morning, and then made my way over to the weighing in, at the auditorium. Syracuse is not one of those cities that win your heart at first glance—which this was for me—but it was a fine day. In the Onondaga Coffee Room, I had observed the members of the Fort Wayne Pistons having breakfast. They twined their long legs around the table legs or doubled them back under the chairs. It occurred to me that life must be very difficult for a traveling collection of men who are from six feet six to nearly seven feet tall. They might have special long beds at home, but they could scarcely carry them with them, and they must either bend or step back several paces to look in a shaving mirror. An awareness of their altitude seemed to oppress them—I could imagine how many times they had been asked how the weather was up there—and their heads, at the ends of such long necks, looked small, like guinea hens’. I was rapidly becoming depressed myself, until I thought of what a liberation it must be for a man of that height to get into the company of others who could see eye to eye with him. Instead of feeling himself set apart, he probably begins to think of anyone under six feet five as subnormal. He goes back to his home town a giant refreshed.

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