How could you do this to me?
I thought we had a deal.
I know, I know.
You were supposed to go on writing your little stories about everyday woe in the New Jersey suburbs, and I was going to enjoy my obscurity here in Oregon.
That was always my intention.
March 24, 2013
That sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not. It’s my life.
I do find it funny now – from a distance of some years and happily married – and even at the time I recognized how ridiculous the situation was, though mostly I was bewildered and devastated. I’d always prided myself on being someone who appreciated the absurdity of life, who didn’t take it too seriously, but there’s an enormous difference, I discovered, between reading a Kafka novel or watching a Woody Allen movie and living inside of one.
The orange soda was too gassy for Joel to gulp. He’d wanted orange juice but had made the mistake of letting his grandfather order for him. His grandmother had made the same mistake, and now the waitress brought out coffee in tiny ceramic cups. His grandfather took one sip, said, “Awful,” and pushed the entire saucer away.
That’s right. I was born on the old man’s ninetieth birthday.
Absolutely. I’m unreasonably proud of the fact. And I feel that it gives me full license to go around quoting his famous line about a book being “the axe that breaks up the frozen sea within us.”