Monday, January 28, 2008

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other's world entire.

grike: CREVICE, CRACK; especially : an opening in rock widened by natural forces (as weathering or solution)

Grimacing at the day. He pulled the boy closer. Just remember that the things you put into your head there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.
_____You forget some things, dont you?
_____Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

vestibular: of, relating to, mediating, constituting, or affecting the vestibular sense
vestibular sense: : a sense mediated by end organs in the vestibule of the internal ear that contain otoliths and are stimulated by the pull of gravity and by the starting and stopping of rectilinear head movements; broadly : LABYRINTHINE SENSE

He rose and stood tottering in that cold autistic dark with his arms outheld for balance while the vestibular calculations in his skull cranked out their reckonings.

The grainy air. The taste of it never left your mouth. They stood in the rain like farm animals.

Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all.

Can you do it? When the time comes? Can you?

Make a list. Recite a litany. Remember.

Dark of the invisible moon. The nights now only slightly less black. By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.

No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes. So, he whispered to the sleeping boy. I have you.

of, relating to, or affected by rickets

Etymology: Chinook Jargon, from French sauvage savage, from Middle French -- more at SAVAGE

This is my child, he said. I wash a dead man's brains out of his hair. That is my job. Then he wrapped him in the blanket and carried him to the fire.

All of this like some ancient anointing. So be it. Evoke the forms. Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.

_____We're going to be okay, arent we Papa?
_____Yes. We are.
_____And nothing bad is going to happen to us.
_____That's right.
_____Because we're carrying the fire.
_____Yes. Because we're carrying the fire.

Etymology: Latin catamitus, from Catamitus Ganymede, cupbearer of the gods, from Etruscan Catmite, from Greek Ganymds
: a boy kept for purposes of sexual perversion


Etymology: French porte cochère, literally coach door
1 archaic : a passageway through a building or screen-wall designed to let vehicles pass from the street to an interior courtyard

Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time.

The chary dawn, the cold illucid world.

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin intestatus, from in- 1in- + testatus, past participle of testari to be a witness, make a will, from testis witness -- more at TESTAMENT
1 : having made no valid will
2 : not bequeathed or devised : not disposed of by will

He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.

He could not reconstruct for the child's pleasure the world he'd lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he.

If they saw different worlds what they knew was the same.

1 : a small protuberance, excrescence, or knob
2 : one of a series of small ridges or beads on a metal surface to aid in gripping

mae west
Etymology: Mae West died 1980 American actress noted for her full figure
Date: 1940
: an inflatable life jacket in the form of a collar extending down the chest that was worn by fliers in World War II

_____You're not the one who has to worry about everything.
_____The boy said something but he couldnt understand him. What? he said.
_____He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.

1 comment:

Khageman said...

I read The Road last year. It put me in quite a funk for a few days. I couldn't shake the feeling of sadness.