Monday, December 25, 2017

Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin (Harper Perennial 2010)

When I woke up that morning it was still pretty early. Summer had just begun and from where I lay in my sleeping bag I could see out the window. There were hardly any clouds and the sky was clear and blue. I looked at the Polaroid I had taped to the wall next to where I slept. It shows my aunt and me sitting by a river; she has on a swimsuit. She’s my dad’s sister and she looks like him, with black hair and blue eyes and she’s really thin. In the photo she’s holding a can of soda and smiling as I sit next to her. She has her arm around me. My hair’s wet and I’m smiling. That was when we all lived in Wyoming. But it had been four years since I’d seen her, and I didn’t even know where she lived anymore.

My dad and I had just moved to Portland, Oregon, and we’d been there for a week. We didn’t know anybody. Two days before my school year was done we packed the truck and moved out from Spokane. “We brought our kitchen table and four chairs, dishes and pots and pans, our clothes and TV, and my dad’s bed. We left all the rest.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

All Backs Were Turned by Marek Hlasko (New Vessell Press 1964)

“Like I’ve always helped you.”

“Yes,” Israel said. “You always helped me.” Suddenly he put his face against Ursula’s breast. “Dov,” he said, “she’s alive. She’s breathing.”

He got up; Dov knelt next to Ursula’s body and placed his head on her breast. Israel held the stone ready in his hand; he had noticed it while kneeling by Ursula’s body, and he picked it up while pressing his face to her chest. He waited until he saw Dov begin to straighten up, then he hit him twice in quick succession; he circled the body to make sure Dov was really dead, then hit him a third time; only then did he toss the stone away.”

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Same Shit, different year.

One of those Facebook thingies that one gets sucked into, surrendering all your personal data in the process. Was it worth it?