July 13, 2017 (Thursday)

by Yule Heibel on July 12, 2018

The AC is off, doors and windows are open, relatively cool and moisture-laden air is flowing through the house on this somewhat bleak if not outright ominous rain-promising morning. The traffic, muffled during the night because our windows were still closed, is rumbling along, ka-thunking over all the potholes as drivers steadfastly ignore the posted speed limit. Yesterday afternoon around 5:20p.m. a couple of guys paid for that with a lovely car crash right at the P. and E.-street intersection. Older dude, probably heading home in his nifty Saab convertible: the front completely smashed in. Curiously, he was pulled over in front of the other car, which I couldn’t see through the treetops. No ambulances, no injuries, I suppose. But tow trucks, police cars, fire engines. However it happened, I guarantee speed was a factor. If it hadn’t involved walking down the hill – which would have meant walking back up again in the exceptionally stifling and muggy weather – I would have gone to gawk, …for forensic reasons of course. …Never to gloat or anything like that (ha), but to get ammunition so I’d finally write my letter to the mayor, ward councilor, state representative, et al.

Yesterday was really unpleasant, weather-wise. The skies filled with lots of humidity, so much that it threatened rain, which never really came through, though. At 5:30p.m. some sprinkles, just to anoint the car wreck a bit, but then it stopped. Picked up again later in the evening, but still mostly revolting humidity.

Yesterday I finished M.’s book, and I’m at a loss how to proceed with writing the review he’d like. I’m not at all sure it isn’t an awful book. I want to get a hold of B., ask her if she actually read it, and if so, what does she think? If it’s not an awful book, what am I missing? Yes, I appreciate its relatively frequent flashes of virtuoso writing – descriptions and scenes that are phantasmagorical, surreal, crazy, and presented with insistent salience. I also like the basic plot premise. But I’m dismayed by how it’s all put together – the structure seems haphazard, almost as if he had a bunch of parts kicking around and just stuck them together in a kind of assemblage, a bricolage (which is in itself a style, but not working too well here…). When I reached the end and drew the conclusion (not explicitly stated) that both of the male protagonists or main characters had died, I was unconvinced by the events. The one character’s suicide by anorexia was almost credible, motivated by his unstable character, which had been sufficiently explained and illustrated. The other main character’s suicide-by-hot-air-balloon-jump, however, was somehow inexplicable. Why this Chauncey-like character would suddenly plumb such depths of remorse and ennui was unbelievable.

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