Posts tagged aging
Old Man Joe’s hair turned white when he was twenty-nine.
He was drunk, it was raining, he was standing on the beach screaming at the sky, which was eternal, black, and silent. Something, or someone, hit him in the back of the head. He woke just before dawn and he had aged forty years. His skin was thick and dry and it sagged. His joints ached and he couldn’t make fists with his hands, it hurt to stand. His eyes were deep and hollow and his hair and his beard were white, they had been black when he was screaming and now they were white. He aged forty years in four hours. Forty years.
Joe lives in a bathroom. The bathroom is in an alley at the back of a taco stand on the boardwalk in Venice. The owner of the taco stand lets Joe stay there because he feel sorry for him. As long as Joe keeps the bathroom clean, and lets customers of the taco stand use it during the day, he is allowed to use it at night. He sleeps on the floor next to the toilet. He has a handheld television that hangs from the doorknob. He has a bag of clothes he uses for a pillow and a sleeping bag that he hides behind a dumpster during the day. He washes himself in the sink and he drinks from the sink. He eats leftovers that he finds in the trash.
Joe wakes ever morning just before dawn. He walks down to the beach and he lies down in the sand and he waits for an answer. He watches the sun rise, watches the sky turn gray, silver, white, he watches the sky turn pink and yellow; he watches the sky turn blue, the sky is almost always blue in Los Angeles. He watches the day arrive. Another day. He waits for an answer.
-James Frey, Bright Shiny Morning
I want to own this book. Unfortunately I just borrowed it from the library. Such strong characters with feelings that cut through the page the words are printed on. Frey’s uniquely put and sometimes scarce periods and line breaks make for an addictive read.