Friday, March 4, 2022

the last book I ever read (Harlem Shuffle: A Novel by Colson Whitehead, excerpt twelve)

from Harlem Shuffle: A Novel by Colson Whitehead:

Carney ran, availing himself of this confluence. He ran as if Freddie had stolen a comic book from Mason’s display racks and Old Man Mason himself pursued them down Lenox with a machete, he ran as if he and his cousin had dropped a fistful of firecrackers into the aluminum garbage cans outside 134 West 129th and rattled the whole street. He ran like a kid convinced that the whole grown-up world with its entire grown-up might was going to beat him silly. There were people and cars. He danced and darted and zipped through, weaving around frumpy salesmen and limping matrons, threading himself between slow-walking rubes and briskly moving sophisticates as if he were a piece of celluloid navigating the rollers of a gigantic movie projector, lost footage from a B movie.

He shook Ed Bench and Mr. Lloyd after two blocks—not the God of Speed after all—and kept going another ten, although not as fast, trotting some, for he was out of shape. They’d finished construction on another segment of Lincoln Center and the south entrance of the Sixty-Sixth Street stop was open again.

The necklace was gone, like that. Yes, you can have all sorts of craziness in your head and people will sit right next to you on the train as if you are a normal person. He felt safe on the train, all the way up, until he got to the store and saw Pepper.

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