Friday, January 26, 2007

Yonge Line, smelling sweetly of microbrew

Caucasian man, mid 40s, with a conservatively wide part in his greying hair, wearing a worn leather motorcycle jacket, white and black plaid scarf, black jeans and brown hiking boots. He reads his book from his lap, cradled in his long fingers, his wide thumbs acting as book ends.

The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai (Penguin Canada)

Page 56:

The sound of the cook talking reached the judge's ear as he sat over chess in the drawing room. When he thought of his past, he began, mysteriously, to twitch. Every bit of him filled with a burning sensation. It roiled within until he could barely stand it.

Breakfast was strawberry Pop Tarts. The boy and Uncle sat in the kitchen blowing on the filling, rolling the toasted pastry around their mouths like it was hot coals. Uncle threw his down on the paper towel opting for coffee alone. The boy walked his fingers across the table and grabbed the leftover, holding it to his chest like he was planning to store it for the long season ahead. Uncle straightened up to scold him, but the boy had started nipping away at the tart like a little beast, reveling in his tiny victory. Was he snorting? Uncle wondered.

He saw a glimpse of the boy's mother in those mischievous eyes.

He recalled living on the beach when they were young. It was the summer; their mother had called it a vacation, a whole summer down by the lake. He’d gone out into the surf, far too far. It was his sister’s job to make sure he didn’t go astray. He giggled, wading further. A succession of waves had come in and he struggled to stay above water. The shore sucked him under and spit him out, over and over. He’d scanned the shore looking for her; she would come get him. When he found her, she was standing by the tent, their mother fast asleep inside, fading. His sister had just stood there watching him bob in and out of the sight, her eyes as murky as the lake water. Uncle caught himself staring at the boy with hatred. Lord in heaven, he thought.

Please don’t let the kid have it too.

4 comments:

Mehnaz said...

Wow,
A bit darker than usual. Enjoyable nonetheless. I hope you're writing a book!

Julie Wilson said...

I sure am! :D

mehnaz said...

*sigh*
I look forward to it!

Julie Wilson said...

Me too; I'm having fun.

Thanks for the support! :)