Saturday, December 13, 2008

Amy Hempel introduces me to Mrs. Carlin

The other night Mosaic Woman and I were invited by a friend for dinner. We were fed well. As we were given a tour, we passed a small table on which a book had been placed. We were told it was a book about China and a few depressing facts came our way.

I said, "I try not to read depressing books."

I used to read many a book about life on this planet, but grew tired of the opening chapters which could have been entitled, "I have to convince these readers that the planet is in terrible terrible shape."

I know it is. But I am also skeptical of claims of it ending. Those claims have been around for a long long time.

So I decided to read a short story by Amy Hempel before bed that night... "At The Gates of The Animal Kingdom" in which I am introduced to a character named, Mrs. Carlin.

Mrs. Carlin is haunted by voices (from the evening news) telling disturbing stories of how humans treat pets and wild animals.

Suddenly I am 25 years old and I am walking up a hill to my house in Ware, MA. I have just heard about the Exon Valdez Oil Spill. Something inside of me is dying.


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