Friday, March 29, 2024

the last book I ever read (Jernigan: A Novel by David Gates, excerpt five)

from Jernigan: A Novel by David Gates:

When we came up out of the tunnel and into New Jersey, night had fallen, and all the salmon-pink highway lights were on. I glanced around the compartment. All the men looked like me. Human basset hounds in wrinkled suits. Except they were drunk, lucky bastards, from their after-work stop-off at Charley O’s or something. Ties loosened, breathing through their mouths.

Once I was off the train and safe in my own car, I put the seat all the way back and just lay there, as if in a dentist’s chair, in the station parking lot. Only a few other cars left, in all that expanse. I closed my eyes and pictured the empty house, eggshell walls. Put the seat back up straight, finally, got the car going and went left on Hamilton Avenue. Instead of taking the right, which was how you got to Heritage Circle. Heading for Martha, however crazy she was.

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