Sunday, October 29, 2006

On Being a Good Starter

So, the other day I was feeling low about being a good starter, but not a particularly good finisher (at least in some areas of life). I read this short paragraph in the last pages of a novel I was finishing:

"You are your own beginning. Every day, every hour, every minute, you start again. There is no point wishing you were someone else, you are who you are - start there." the palm kisser offers.

"Music For Torching", A.M. Homes, 1999, p.324

This book reminds me a bit of John Updike's "Rabbit Run" (and Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, Rabbit at Rest) with the boozy, sleazy suburbanites trying to find meaning in their lives. Like Harry and Janet Angstrom, the characters in "Music For Torching" are looking for escape from their lives in a middle class neighborhood - mostly through sex with the neighbors.

Elaine and Paul decide that burning down their house will make them feel better - a little stress relief - but it just makes them realize how firmly they are tied to the place and all it represents. On the bus to work one day, Paul meets a man who gives him wise advice and kisses his palm.....the palm kisser.


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