When Atticus, my gorgeous companion of 13 years, moved into the netherworld two months ago, my friend Becca of San Fran – now of Boston and soon to be of Phoenix – recommended some reading.
One of the book titles she suggested was Life of Pi by Yann Martel; It won the Man Booker Prize in 2002.
Upon returning to Holy Land Central Noorster agreed to loan me her copy and I’ve been slogging through it since, waiting for its prose to earn the reputed acclaim. It’s about a boy marooned at sea in a lifeboat with zoo animals for companions.
This week it became riveting – just as the ship wreck happened, surprise surprise – and despite busy doings, searching for an apartment, struggling to drum up work and on and on, I’m hooked in. I share a beautiful passage:
The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror. Sometimes your life is a pendulum moving from one to the other. The sea is without a wrinkle. There is not a whisper of wind. The hours last forever. You are so bored you sink into a state of apathy close to a coma. Then the sea becomes rough and your emotions are whipped into a frenzy. Yet even these two opposites do not remain distinct. In your boredom there are elements of terror: you break down into tears; you are filled with dread; you scream; you deliberately hurt yourself. And in the grip of terror – the worst storm – you yet feel boredom, a deep weariness with it all.
I sense the ending will be tragic