Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 3: The Man and the Boy Share a Coke

This one isn't happy so much as an enormous relief. As we shuffle through Cormac McCarthy's apocalyptic wasteland, we need two comforts: the love of parent for child and vice-versa--which we get throughout the story--and the occasional tiny burst of good fortune.

From Cormac McCarthy's The Road:

On the outskirts of the city they came to a supermarket. A few old cars in the trashstrewn parking lot...In the produce section in the bottom of the bins they found a few ancient runner beans and what looked to have once been apricots, long dried to wrinkled effigies of themselves...By the door were two softdrink machines that had been tilted over into the floor and opened with a prybar. Coins everywhere in the ash. He sat and ran his hand around in the works of the gutted machines and in the second one it closed over a cold metal cylinder. He withdrew his hand slowly and sat looking at a Coca Cola.

What is it, Papa?

It's a treat. For you.

What is it?

Here. Sit down.

He slipped the boy's knapsack straps loose and set the pack on the floor behind him and he put his thumbnail under the aluminum clip on the top of the can and opened it. He leaned his nose to the slight fizz coming from the can and then handed it to the boy. Go ahead, he said.

The boy took the can. It's bubbly, he said.

Go ahead.

He looked at his father and then tilted the can and drank. He sat there thinking about it. It's really good, he said.


Kathy Waller said...

Dinah, daughter of Jacob, from Anita Diamant's The Red Tent:

There is no magic to immortality.

In Egypt I loved the perfume of the lotus. A flower would bloom in the pool at dawn, filling the entire garden with a blue musk so powerful it seemed that even the fish and ducks would swoon. By night, the flower might wither but the perfume lasted. Fainter and fainter, but never quite gone. Even many days later, the lotus remained in the garden. Months would pass and a bee would alight near the spot where the lotus had blossomed, and its essence was released again, momentary but undeniable.

Egypt loved the lotus because it never dies. It is the same for people who are loved. Thus can something as insignificant as a name--two syllables, one high, one sweet--summon up the innumerable smiles and tears, sighs and dreams of a human life.

If you sit on the bank of a river, you see only a small part of its surface. And yet, the water before your eyes is proof of unknowable depths. My heart brims with thanks for the kindness you have shown me by sitting on the bank of this river, by visiting the echoes of my name.

Blessings on your eyes and on your children. Blessings on the ground beneath you. Wherever you walk, I go with you.


Susan Woodring said...


I have this book on my to-be-read shelf. Must get to it soon...

Thank you for this, Kathy.

sherylmonks said...

Oh, Kathy. This is nice. Thank you for sharing. And The Road, Susan. Oh my gosh. Breaks your heart, it's so beautiful. I will dig around and see what I have to share.