i just finished the marriage plot. when you finish a book and realize you adore it, what do you do? I bought too much produce and cooked three kinds of soup. then I did some floor stretches and made the decision about where I want to live and work next year. then I thought about all of the places I could find a sleeping bag and what would be an appropriate trade if i took a homeless man’s – clearly a really, really warm blanket. after that lapse in judgment I googled soothing pictures of igneous rock layers and hummed “glory days.” i’m still not sure whether or not song titles belong in quotes or italics; i would rather put them in italics but know quotes are right. i wondered what it would be like to own a bird. if david foster wallace’s mouth really tasted like metal and cigarettes. if mitchell looked more like david sedaris or rick moranis – and that maybe a similar confusion kept madeleine’s lust for him at bay. i’m wondering why there are horns tooting outside my window at 11:24p.m. on a sunday. if studying yeast for a summer would make me depressed too, and if leonard’s haploid/diploid allegory for love is really true (i hope it is not). what a staph infection might look like on my shin. i kept seeing leonard running around in his vintage cape like a little bat, what his swollen leg-hair follicles looked like at their worst. i saw still frames of madeleine nibbling an oreo at the sweaty manhattan house party, the sounds from leonard’s walk in the snow, and a vision of his brain synapses dying like world energy supply satellite images percolating in reverse. i thought about madeleine’s semi-hot yearbook picture, mitchell’s deodorant stick versus the mouse-nibbled survival kit breadstick, the uneaten pie between leonard and madeleine waiting for their lease to be drawn up, phyllida’s voice on the phone, a similar mishap i once had to madeleine at the toga party, and of course, roland barthes’s poisonous injection: “once the first avowal has been made… ‘I Love You’ has no meaning whatever.”
forgiveness is at the heart of this book which makes it both the best and the worst. it’s why we entertain the mitchells and endure the leonards and hold out for the heathcliffs.
good luck duck.