Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last Words

Ralph raced to the book club meeting on his bike. They were going to discuss Joan Didion's classic, Play It As It Lays.

In an attempt to feel as desolate, as fatalistic, as beautifully nihilistic, as that novel's main character, Maria, Ralph drove eighty miles an hour. He felt the rushing wind was like a barbituate as he crossed five lanes, and relished the feeling of having no blind spots.

Tragically, a less careful driver than Ralph overcorrected. The SUV was merely scratched, but the driver claimed he never saw the motorcyclist as the medics were peeling the boy's body off the pavement.

What an aweful way to go, and what an aweful last novel to have read! Not that the novel is bad, but you really wouldn't want it to be the last piece of fiction you read in your life.

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