been taking a wee break from producing lately, mostly reading, rewatching deadwood, listening to hours of terry gross interviews, listening to music. trying to replenish the creative stockpiles inside. thinking on what photos from the european adventure should be submitted in an application to take part in some gallery show in kentucky. making tentative plans to become a gypsy with a few friends. determined to become an ubermensch. hero-worshipping david chang and pining for the ingredients to make all the dishes in the momofuku cookbook i was gifted this christmas.
chief among the piddling tasks i’ve been occupying my days with is spreading good art around, thinking about why i like it, why i think certain other people will like it. wanted to share this with whoever stumbles upon this blog. a small excerpt from nicole krauss‘ the history of love, a story about a man who hid in the woods from nazis for years to escape the holocaust before coming to america. various factors in his life have led him to feel as though he perhaps might not exist at all. he signs up to model for a figure drawing class because it will afford him the opportunity to be seen. here, krauss writes the scene in which the narrator, leo gurtsky, is reunited with a childhood friend.
Bruno and I were friends when we were boys. When I came to America, I thought he was dead, and then one day I was walking down East Broadway and I heard his voice. I turned around. He was standing in front of the grocer’s asking the price of some fruit. I thought, You’re hearing things, you’re such a dreamer, what is the likelihood — your boyhood friend? I stood frozen on the sidewalk. He’s in the ground, I told myself. It’s fifty years later, here you are in the United States of America, there’s McDonald’s, get a grip. I waited just to make sure. I wouldn’t have recognized his face. But the way he walked was unmistakable — skipping along like a bird. He was about to pass me. I put my arm out and grabbed his sleeve. “Bruno,” I said. He stopped and turned. At first he seemed scared and then confused. “Bruno,” I said. He looked at me; his eyes filled with tears. He touched his hand to my cheek; with the other he held a bag of plums. “Bruno.”
something about that scene has stayed with me for years since i first read the book. the detail about the plums, the mitigation of this man’s profound loneliness. i was in tears, and it was only page six. if you’re looking for reading material in the new year, this is my top recommendation (after everything david foster wallace ever wrote, of course). it only gets lovelier as you read on.