BEST EVER DESCRIPTION OF COLD WAR DADS
“Men then were more alike than they are now. In their alikeness, which the time required, they had a conscientiousness, replicable beauty - boy cleanliness, haircuts that showed their ears, white shirts, black ties. Fresh handkerchiefs. Shoes whose shine needed vigilance. In winter, imposing overcoats that made them seem like soldiers in the army of seriousness that made it hard to tell them apart, especially from a distance, so that if a child saw her father far down the winter sidewalk she would have trouble knowing for sure it was her father and she would stand in her oversized rubber boots, using one mitten as a gas mask to diffuse the freezing air until it was him or it wasn’t. This was long ago during the war known as Cold. The early morning unison of the fathers’ departure would have shamed a flight of blackbirds; under the vaults and domes of the Capitol, behind locked doors, at the fathers’ gray steel desks, at the ends of their pencils, the war was going well, it was going badly, it was a matter of interpretation, it was work.”
—Elizabeth Tallent, “Little X” THREE PENNY REVIEW
Overheard in line at Greenpoint disco Rite Aid: “I watched the pope and his smoke on close captioning from the eucalyptus machine at my gym.”
Best ever painting of dad-shoes (Van Gogh, 1886).
Best ever description of dad shoes (Daniel Galera, “Apnoea”, translated by Stefan Tobler) ”Now he notices his dad’s clothes, the tailored dark grey trousers and the blue shirt soaked in sweat at the armpits and around his bulging stomach, the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, the sandals that he seems to wear against his will, as if only the heat stopped him from wearing leather shoes, and also the bottle of French cognac and the revolver on the little table beside his reclining chair.”
Best ever description of a small grocery store ”She went grocery shopping three times a week, after aerobics class, stopping at a market that was on her route from the fitness center to her apartment. It was a tiny family-owned place, with a splintered wood floor and two checkout stands, dimly-lit and narrow-aisled and very popular with urban professionals. They carried microbrews and power bars and arugula, plus all the staples.”
-Daniel Orozco, “Hunger Games”
Lars Iyer is the author of the novels Spurious and the newly released Dogma. I talked to him earlier this spring about friendship and writing. Click HERE for the interview.