The fireworks went on for nearly half an hour, great pulsing strobes, fiery dandelions and starbursts of light brightening both sky and water. It was hard to tell which was reality and which was reflection, as if there were two displays, above and below, going on simultaneously—one in space-time, mused Max, and the other in...
I wouldn’t be caught dead sacrificing myself for this country.
Have you ever noticed how good things go to those who hate?
Finally, we entered Chetaube County, my imaginary birthplace, where the names of the little winding roads and minuscule mountain communities never failed to inspire me: Yardscrabble, Big Log, Upper, Middle and Lower Pigsty, Chicken Scratch, Cooterville, Felchville, Dust Rag, Dough Bag, Uranus Ridge, Big Bottom, Hooter Holler, Quickskillet, Buck Wallow, Possum Strut … We always...
When it rains it pours and when it shines you get melanoma.
Spanish—how shall I say this?—is likePortuguese spoken with a speech impediment.
I should think a dead language would be rather boring, sociallyspeaking.
Well, enough of this introspection. It’s depressing, quite frankly.
I am, as it were, the created creating—a paradox, for all its rhetorical trappings, at the beating heart of our shared human journey, and one I invite you to struggle with just as I have while, day in and day out, word by word and line by line, constructing a fictitious autobiography for myself in...
Life is too short to waste being a productive member of society.
It takes money to make money, even begging. Humans are herd animals. If a stranger’s bleeding to death beside the road, most people won’t stop to offer a Band-Aid. But get the ball rolling with a couple Good Samaritans, and before you know it you’ve got more eager philanthropists than you know what to do...
True, beneath the human façade, I was an interloper, an alien whose ship had crashed beyond hope of repair in the backwoods of Southern Appalachia—but at least I’d learned to walk and talk enough like the locals to be rejected as one of their own.
So it was a crossroads summer, when the universe seemed to stand perilously still like an egg wobbling on a precipice, a regular rite of passage summer that saw us traverse the hazardous divide between the illusions of boyhood and the far more pernicious deceptions of maturity, et cetera.
Down below people were clipping by going nowhere fast. You could feel the long despairing history of the place. You could actually hear it, a low hum like the buzz of a sick bee that resonated with the fragments of a million broken dreams.
I just want to live my own life instead of everyone else’s version of it.
The feeling was less like chemical intoxication than being drunk on life. Spinning round and round, he experienced absolute bliss— unadulterated and unconfined—in which he transcended his own personality and became one with everything he perceived.
Worry wasn’t an emotion to which he was particularly accustomed—and it worried him.
With the sensation that he was passing through the Looking-Glass, Max stared at his father as if he had never seen him before—simultaneously impressed and unnerved at the thought that, after all these years, he still knew so little about him.
Nobody ever goes to that store to shop because it’s too crowded.
I relinquished myself to existence pure and simple, thinking absolutely nothing—as if my mind were merely an echo chamber for the music, as if it contained only ether or at most a vaguely pleasant odor as of roses preserved between the pages of a book, their significance long forgotten. The tongue of the road gobbled...
Such is life, imaginary or otherwise: a continuous parting of ways, a constant flux of approximation and distanciation, lines of fate intersecting at a point which is no-time, a theoretical crossroads fictitiously ‘present,’ an unstable ice floe forever drifting between was and will be.