Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Flying Troutmans, Miriam Toews: Part II

While I was reading this book I wasn't loving it but the more I look at the passages I marked up the more impressed I am with Miriam Toews.

More Chapbook~

I wanted to ask her why she regretted being born, if it was a knife-in-the-heart all-consuming regret or an intermittent, passing regret like a loose tooth you worry with your tongue every once in a while. I didn't know how to say the words. I didn't know how I'd answer her answer. (p.73)

How do you love someone who wants to be left alone and die? How do you stay? How do you walk away? (p.130)

I also dreamt that I'd had a baby.
So did I! I said. the other night.
Logan rubbed his face and moaned and stared out the window. He didn't want to be having the same dreams and dark desires as his flabby-armed aunt. (p.134)

But, said Logan, a fifteen year old could technically live on his own, right?
No, a fifteen year old cannot live on his own, I said.
Pippi Longstocking wasn't even fifteen, said Thebes, and she-
Yeah, but she was a character in a book, I said.
And she was Swedish, said Logan.
So there would have been a solid safety net of social programs to help keep her afloat, I said. It doesn't work here.
Yeah but the point of Pippi was that she didn't need anybody or any social programs to help her, said Logan. She was that strong.
Yeah, I said, but unhumanly so. She could lift a horse. Can you?

I'd come up with a plan. Min was in the universe. She was a dim and falling star, but she was alive. She hadn't loved watching the sun's eclipse as much as she'd loved watching it reappear. If she had really, truly wanted to die she'd have succeeded a long time ago. She loved the brink, going to it and returning from it. Or maybe she didn't love it. Maybe she hated it. But it didn't matter. Maybe going to the brink made her feel like she'd accomplished something extraordinary, like there was a purpose to her life, if only to prolong it in spite of herself. She was the captain of both teams, waging war against herself but always pulling back from any decisive victory because that would also mean a decisive loss.

I had a new career. I had a mission. I'd become a cartographer of the uncharted world of Min and I'd raise her from the dead, like a baby, sort of. We'd do it again from scratch. We'd start all over.


I had faith in my plan. I had faith in Min. And I loved her. She was the baby in my dreams and maybe in Logan's too. (p.258-259)

Blog Template by