Friday, 4 September 2009

Leaves, a novel

When teaching English in Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, in 2008, one of my fellow teachers was Owen Praskievicz from the US, who was then working on what he hoped would become a novel. And it indeed did become one. A few days ago, I finished reading it, and I've found it enjoyable and thoughtful. Here are a few sentences/thoughts/ponderings/observations that I think are wonderfully reflective, insightful, and very well put.

A low branch tempted him to jump and grab it and as he passed he couldn't resist. He swung for a step and kept flowing in stride. Not since his days back home did he feel this powerful, this sure of life. Jumping into the air and soaring outright into the sky seemed a physical possibility.

A father, groomed at the nearby Academy, glorified for his exploits as a pilot, and the beaming owner of a 747, sat back in his chair, smoking a cigar assured of taste by its price tag, smiling and laughing with his teeth at the popularity of his offspring.

Coming home Calvin hoped not to find his roommate and was disheartened to hear her rambling away in the kitchen when he walked in. A modest greating and a decline in an offer for her food turned him directly into his room. Why must one always be social? He was hungry, but he was in no mood to sacrifice the costs of gratitude and guilt she would place on his shoulders for the meal. It did smell good though. With a few hours to kill, Calvin escaped to the convenient bar down the street. A few beers would settle him better anyway.

His fingers worked with muscular memory ...

Only those who fill the void with the satisfaction of just being retain the juice, but there is a sad majority who assimilated Sabrina to their philosophy; boredom masked in a pretense of unimportant manoeuvres.

As only a black woman can, one of the girls threw just the right words to pull such a man away. "You think you're sexy, don't you?" she said.

The issue died with the hours of the night.

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