March 10, 2008

for anyone who got caught in the super rain.

                                                     walking home monday march 10th 2008.

It is wet today.  Made even worse by the fact that my poor right shoe has a hole in its sole, which gives rainwater free reign to drench my foot.  My Milverton home has never seemed so far away.  It made me think of this passage from Neil Gaiman's American Gods:

Ten more minutes of walking, he guessed, and the bridge seemed to be no nearer.  He was too cold to shiver.  His eyes hurt.  This was not simply cold: this was science fiction.  This was a story set on the dark side of Mercury, back when they thought Mercury had a dark side.  This was something out on rocky Pluto, where the sun is just another star, shining only a little more brightly in the darkness.  This, thought Shadow, is just a hair away from the places where air comes in buckets and pours just like beer.

The occasional cars that roared past him seemed unreal: space ships, little freeze-dried packages of metal and glass, inhabited by people dressed more warmly than he was.  An old song his mother had loved, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, began to run through his head, and he hummed it through closed lips, kept pace to it as he walked.

He had lost all sensation in his feet.  He looked down at his black leather shoes, at the thin cotton socks, and began, seriously, to worry about frostbite.

This was beyond a joke.  This had moved beyond foolishness, slipped over the line into genuine 24 karat Jesus-Christ-I-fucked-up-bigtime territory.  His clothes might as well have been netting or lace: the wind blew through him, froze his bones and the marrow in his bones, froze the lashes of his eyes, froze the warm place under his balls, which were retreating into his pelvic cavity.

Keep walking, he told himself.  Keep walkingI can stop and drink a pail of air when I get home.  A Beatles song started in his head, and he adjusted his pace to match it.  It was only when he got to the chorus that he realized that he was humming Help.

After deliberation, I decided that Leamington rain wasn't all that bad.  The fact that my main curses for the day are the rain, and the fact that the rubbish collection people allowed some eggshells and pumpkin seeds to spill from the top of a binbag outside, suggests that things are going pretty good.

Do note that you can read all of American Gods online at the moment.  I bought a paperback copy just before this was announced - but who wants to read whilst sat in a computer chair anyway? 


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Awesome book – darker than his other stuff but perhaps more powerful for it.

    Interesting to see the common themes in American Gods and the lighter Anansi Boys. Also, if you haven’t yet got hold of Fragile Things there is a short story about Shadow in it which is worth a read.

    10 Mar 2008, 14:33

  2. this is actually my first Gaiman novel, and I am enjoying it. Thank you for the recommendations, as I will strive to pick them up after I’ve worked my way through the huge stack of novels I have lined up to read!

    11 Mar 2008, 10:14


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