Sunday, October 9, 2011

Like the rest of us

I keep reading Anne Lamott's books. I started with Traveling Mercies and then moved on to Bird by Bird and then Imperfect Birds. Right now I'm reading her first novel, Hard Laughter. I mostly recommend them all, but with a couple in-bold asterisks. Her books are a high-def jumble of both the reverent and irreverent. If you were to meet one of her characters, you'd probably be able to see their pores and where they missed a spot or two while shaving. If you could smell them, you'd probably pick up a mix of sweat, whatever they ate for lunch, and some kind of bought-in-bulk laundry detergent. If you were to hug one of her characters, their arms would probably tangle awkwardly with yours and they might have a slight paunch. They'd be like real, live people. Only more.

Today as I was reading, a few things stuck out to me:

"My younger brother, who is seventeen, and, like the rest of us, ravenously insecure, feels he must be kind and attentive to the Burn Outs or risk having his dog attacked with a pool cue."

When she says, "the rest of us," I think the narrator's referring to her family, but for a moment, I thought she meant "the rest of US," as in humankind, life, people, whatever.

And next:

"And these are the thoughts I was left with: that romance is stupid and sometimes worth it; that fellowship is risky and always worth it; that I am ridiculous, and that I am not."

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