"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why I Love Neal Stephenson

This excerpt, about a house meeting:

Ike got up and announced he was moving out. He was tired of the plumbing problems, he said, and the weird messages on the answering machine, and Roscommon had come in while he was at work and torn down the Mel King campaign poster on our front balcony... Tess and Laurie, the lesbian carpenters, announced that they liked the kitchen better after we'd untrashed it and cleaned it up, so why not try to keep it that way? I pointed out that I had bought three new badminton birdies before I left for Buffalo and now they were all gone. Should we call this place a "co-op" or a "commune"? How about calling it a "house"? Who had scrubbed the Teflon off the big frying pan? Since Tess had weeded the garden, how many tomatoes did she get? Whose hair predominated in the shower drain-- the women's, since they had more, or the men's, since they were losing more? Was it okay to pour bacon grease down the drains if you ran hot water at the same time? Could bottles with metal rings on the necks be put in the recycling box? Should we buy a cord of firewood? Maple or pine? Did we agree that the people next door were abusing their children? Physically or just psychologically? Was boric acid roach powder a bioaccumulative toxin? Where was the bicycle-tire pump, and was it okay to take it on an overnight trip? Whose turn was it to scrub the green crap out from between the tiles in the bathroom?

I almost want to dye my hair pink and get a pair of Dr. Martens. It's page 157-158, chapter 20 of Zodiac.


Kay Sexton said...

Oh wow - I just ordered Zodiac myself! I hope it's going to arrive before the end of the week. Great minds etc ...

Zen of Writing said...

It's great fun.