This PowerPoint slide announced lunchtime. We had turkey wraps.
Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story
Jack London, The Road
I finished Super Sad as the webinar speakers I was filming Friday droned on between fits of sporadically checked my phone for signs of life outside that conference room and got existentially jarred because Super Sad is pretty much about doing just that literally, metaphorically and follows through on the worst parts of my weak anti-capitalist paranoia to the bitter ends. So good and so terrible, this book. I'll have more to say on it soon.
I still had an hour plus to go and nothing to read and even the Solitaire app lost the interest it had recently regained from me and I remembered Maya's friend talking about reading Jack London and how I recently read this review of Per Petterson's I Curse the River of Time and how it (the review; I have not read the book) made me thing of how good that wiley old Nazi Knut Hamsun's Hunger was and it and how that reminded me of a Jack London story about starving that I read in middle school that made a lasting impression on me. So I dial up on my äppärät (as the ubiquitous handheld is called in Super Sad's dystopia) Jack London on Project Gutenberg and took to his hobo novel The Road, where I found no respite from the cruelty of authority and how it is managed. In a Gypsy camp:
Several lean, unbeautiful, and toil-bedraggled women were pottering about with campchores, and one I noticed who sat by herself on the seat of one of the wagons, her head drooped forward, her knees drawn up to her chin and clasped limply by her arms. She did not look happy.
I'll say she didn't look happy. That same woman would soon be beaten severely with a whip for protecting a child from the same and the narrator lays impotent, watching from the sides.
I knew life. Of what use to the woman, or to me, would be my being beaten to death there on the banks of the Susquehanna?Jesus! So how do you process identity and violence and children and women and men and everything astray in this cruel world so that one may live with oneself's participation in it? Roller derby! About which I will also soon write, but in sum, we creamed Hattiesburg in a close dramatic bout and Maya sat at the sidelines making some formidable friends that will come in handy when the shit go down.
Getting pointers from TraC/DC