Monday, May 3, 2021

the last book I ever read (Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion, excerpt one)

from Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion:

The smoke grew thicker, the testimony more intense. I had not heard so many revelations of a certain kind since I used to fall into conversations on Greyhound buses under the misapprehension that it was a good way to learn about life. “See, I had just got through embezzling a large sum of money from my employer,” they were saying to one another, and “I started out for a Canoga Park meeting and turned around on the freeway, that was last Wednesday. I ended up in Gardena and now I’m on the verge of divorce again.” Mea culpa, they appeared to be crying, and many of them had cried it the night before and the night before that: every night there is a Gamblers Anonymous meeting somewhere around Los Angeles, somewhere like Long Beach or Canoga Park or Downey or Culver City, and the ideal is to attend five or six a week. “I never made this Gardena meeting before,” someone explained, “for one simple reason only, which is I break out in a cold sweat every time I pass Gardena on the freeway even, but I’m here tonight because every night I don’t place a bet, which with the help of God and you people is 1,223 nights now.”

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