Saturday, January 30, 2010

Story of my life.

Devon smiled at me while radiating that familiar school-style vibe that she was very, very unimpressed with me. I was standing out in the sun, the seagulls pecking a few feet away. but I could've been back in the city, stumbling like a clod through the highways of my high school. Picture the great factory churning out the women who would never smile my way except in condescension, the busy assembly lines, the intricate distribution plan that ensured that my vicinity was well stocked. Erica, at least, would chuckle at some oddball comment of mine. Devon didn't understand a singe word out of my mouth, but she was raised right and didn't express her revulsion overtly. I think she was simply puzzled by me.

I used to go to Martha's Vineyard instead of Sag Harbor, but I think the point remains/


tray said...

What's a school-style vibe? Something about this guy's writing bothers me. However much you may relate. For instance, something very clunky about "raised right and didn't express her revulsion overtly." "Highways of my high school" - straining for an effect that fails. Stumbling like a clod is lazy. And the whole thing exudes this sort of precious self-pity.

bding7 said...

Fair criticisms, and likely reasons why I haven't finished the book just yet, even though it's relatively short. I think he was just trying to say he was reminded of the way girls interact with him when he's back at home, but yes, it isn't written in the clearest manner.

And the whole thing exudes this sort of precious self-pity.

That's something that's been killing me this whole time. I certainly felt that way for a while during high school, but thinking back to my experiences in high school, i rarely think, "I wish I had blah blah blah". I just move on. So I relate in some ways, but not all the time. And he really likes to plug in big words just because he can, or at least it feels this way.

tray said...

I'm not knocking it for lack of clarity (aside from school-style), I just think it's overly writerly. So is everything I see these days, though; for instance, I'd say Junot Diaz is a lot better than this guy, at least judged by that tiny excerpt, but I'm really not a big Junot Diaz fan at all, and for similar reasons. My high school experience wasn't the happiest, but it never really got to me and still doesn't because I've always been ridiculously optimistic about my future. That said, no matter how successful one becomes, I kind of get the feeling that childhood and adolescence always remain the defining years, or the most important years, in one's life. Which is worrying.