October 06, 2005

A Day in My Pants

What calls us to come back to the world, after floating so long out on the border of another place (which we could call the destination of transcendence)? After a few days of a break-down of my function in the world, I have regained some peace of mind, albeit momentarily, from this day of being hungover and reading the work of Flannery O'Connor.

The school chime sounded the end of the last morning test as I strolled off campus on a toasty October morning. Down the street lies ブラジリアンコーヒー, or in bastardized English, Burajillian Kohii (I think it is supposed to mean "Brazilian Coffee"). In this antique-looking coffee shop is woman who cooks a wickedly hearty tonkatsu lunch. I indulged my love for deep-fried pork in a sweet gravy-like sauce, but as I waited for the food to come, I read "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" by Flannery O'Connor. It is a very short story about a one-armed con-man who, by the end of the story, is undermined by his own "tricks." This man, Mr. Shiftlet, picks up a hitchhiker on the road (this is after he has ditched his recent bride--a charming, but deaf 30-year old "girl"--in the previous diner) and starts to rue his ever leaving his mother. I quote the little exchange between him and the hitchhiking boy just because it hits hard and suddenly, like a linebacker or like a moment of catharsis. Maybe y'all won't appreciate it or nothin' but here goes:

"'My mother was a angel of Gawd!' Mr, Shiftlet said in a strange voice. 'He took her from heaven and giver to me and I left her.' His eyes were instantly clouded over with a mist of tears. The car was barely moving.
The boy turned angrily in his seat. 'You go to the devil!' he cried. 'My old woman is a flea bag and yours is a stinking pole cat!' and with that he flung the door open and jumped out with his suitcase into the ditch."

Well anyways, I had something interesting to say today but it fell out of my head, kind of like this boy into the ditch.

"Intellectual insomnia is still quite a long way off." -Mortimer J. Adler


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