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Михаил (19.04.2017 - 07:11:11)
книге:  Петля и камень на зелёной траве

Потрясающая книга. Не понравится только нацистам.

Антихрист666 (18.04.2017 - 22:05:58)
книге:  Дом чудовищ (Подвал)

Классное чтиво!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ладно, теперь поспешили вы... (18.04.2017 - 21:50:34)
книге:  Физики шутят

"Не для сайта!" – это не имя. Я пытался завершить нашу затянувшуюся неудачную переписку, оставшуюся за окном сайта, а вы вын... >>

Роман (18.04.2017 - 19:12:26)
книге:  Если хочешь быть богатым и счастливым не ходи в школу?

Прочитал все его книги! Великий человек, кардинально изменил мою жизнь.

АНДРЕЙ (18.04.2017 - 17:42:55)
книге:  Технология власти

ПОЛЕЗНАЯ КНИГА. Жаль, что мало в России тех, кто прочитал...

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Разорвал молчание колокольный звон,
Мне в который раз уже снится тот же сон,
Как икона бледная в небесах луна,
Маленькая девочка среди звёзд одна.

Шепчут губы детские, глядя в небеса,
И примолкли жуткие тёмные леса.
Ангелы, как голуби кружатся над ней,
А на крыльях ангелов тысячи огней.... >>

28.08.10 - 15:27
Commod

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The Shipping News   ::   Proulx E. Annie

Страница: 4 из 94
 
His only skill in the game of life. His attentive posture, his flattering nods urged waterfalls of opinion, reminiscence, recollection, theorizing, guesstimating, exposition, synopsis and explication, juiced the life stories out of strangers.

And so it went. Fired, car wash attendant, rehired.

Fired, cabdriver, rehired.

Back and forth he went, down and around the county, listening to the wrangles of sewer boards, road commissions, pounding out stories of bridge repair budgets. The small decisions of local authority seemed to him the deep workings of life. In a profession that tutored its practitioners in the baseness of human nature, that revealed the corroded metal of civilization, Quoyle constructed a personal illusion of orderly progress. In atmospheres of disintegration and smoking jealousy he imagined rational compromise.

¯



Quoyle and Partridge ate poached trout and garlic shrimps. Mercalia not there. Quoyle tossed the fennel salad. Was leaning over to pick up a fallen shrimp when Partridge rang his knife on the wine bottle.

“Announcement. About Mercalia and me.”

Quoyle, grinning. Expected to hear they were having a kid. Already picked himself for godfather.

“Moving to California. Be leaving Friday night.”

“What?” said Quoyle.

“Why we’re going, the raw materials,” Partridge said. “Wine, ripe tomatillos, alligator pears.” He poured fumé blanc , then told Quoyle that really it was for love, not vegetables.

“Everything that counts is for love, Quoyle. It’s the engine of life.”

Mercalia had thrown down her thesis, he said, had gone blue-collar. Travel, cowboy boots, money, the gasp of air brakes, four speakers in the cab and the Uptown String Quartet on the tape deck. Enrolled in long-distance truck driving school. Graduated summa cum laude. The Overland Express in Sausalito hired her.

“She is the first black woman truck driver in America,” said Partridge, winking tears. “We already got an apartment. Third one she looked at.” It had, he said, a kitchen with French doors, heavenly bamboo shading the courtyard. Herb garden the size of a prayer rug. In which he would kneel.

“She got the New Orleans run. And I am going out there. Going to make smoked duck sandwiches, cold chicken breast with tarragon, her to take on the road, not go in the diners. I don’t want Mercalia in those truck places. Going to grow the tarragon. I can pick up a job. Never enough copy editors to go around. Get a job anywhere.”

Quoyle tried to say congratulations, ended up shaking and shaking Partridge’s hand, couldn’t let go.

“Look, come out and visit us,” said Partridge. “Stay in touch.” And still they clasped hands, pumping the air as if drawing deep water from a well.

¯



Quoyle, stuck in bedraggled Mockingburg. A place in its third death. Stumbled in two hundred years from forests and woodland tribes, to farms, to a working-class city of machine tool and tire factories. A long recession emptied the downtown, killed the malls. Factories for sale. Slum streets, youths with guns in their pockets, political word-rattle of some litany, sore mouths and broken ideas. Who knew where the people went? Probably California.

Quoyle bought groceries at the A amp;B Grocery; got his gas at the D amp;G Convenience; took the car to the R amp;R Garage when it needed gas or new belts. He wrote his pieces, lived in his rented trailer watching television. Sometimes he dreamed of love. Why not? A free country. When Ed Punch fired him, he went on binges of cherry ice cream, canned ravioli.

He abstracted his life from the times. He believed he was a newspaper reporter, yet read no paper except The Mockingburg Record , and so managed to ignore terrorism, climatological change, collapsing governments, chemical spills, plagues, recession and failing banks, floating debris, the disintegrating ozone layer. Volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes, religious frauds, defective vehicles and scientific charlatans, mass murderers and serial killers, tidal waves of cancer, AIDS, deforestation and exploding aircraft were as remote to him as braid catches, canions and rosette-embroidered garters. Scientific journals spewed reports of mutant viruses, of machines pumping life through the near-dead, of the discovery that the galaxies were streaming apocalyptically toward an invisible Great Attractor like flies into a vacuum cleaner nozzle. That was the stuff of others’ lives. He was waiting for his to begin.

He got in the habit of walking around the trailer and asking aloud, “Who knows?” He said, “Who knows?” For no one knew. He meant, anything could happen.

A spinning coin, still balanced on its rim, may fall in either direction.



2 Love Knot

In the old days a love-sick sailor might send the object of his

affections a length of fishline loosely tied in a true-lover’s knot.

If the knot was sent back as it came the relationship was

static. If the knot returned home snugly drawn up the passion

was reciprocated. But if the knot was capsized-tacit advice

to ship out.



THEN, at a meeting, Petal Bear. Thin, moist, hot. Winked at him. Quoyle had the big man’s yearning for small women. He stood next to her at the refreshment table. Grey eyes close together, curly hair the color of oak. The fluorescent light made her as pale as candle wax. Her eyelids gleamed with some dusky unguent. A metallic thread in her rose sweater. These faint sparks cast a shimmer on her like a spill of light. She smiled, the pearl-tinted lips wet with cider. His hand shot up to his chin. She chose a cookie with frosting eyes and an almond for a mouth. Eyed him as her teeth snapped out a new moon. An invisible hand threw loops and crossings in Quoyle’s intestines. Growls from his shirt.

“What do you think,” she said. Her voice was rapid. She said what she always said. “You want to marry me, don’t you? Don’t you think you want to marry me?” Waited for the wise crack. As she spoke she changed in some provocative way, seemed suddenly drenched in eroticism as a diver rising out of a pool gleams like chrome with a sheet of unbroken water for a fractional moment.

“Yes,” he said, meaning it. She thought it was wit. She laughed, curled her sharp-nailed fingers into his. Stared intently into his eyes like an optometrist seeking a flaw. A woman grimaced at them.

“Get out of this place,” she whispered, “go get a drink. It’s seven twenty-five. I think I’m going to fuck you by ten, what do you think of that?”

Later she said, “My God, that’s the biggest one yet.

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