Thursday, April 21, 2016

Annie Proulx, "Postcards"

Marcus said this passage reminded him of me:

"When she turned the ignition key and steered the car out of the drive, the gravel crunching deliciously under the tires, she went dizzy with power for the first time in her adult life. The radio played 'Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White', and she was glad. She felt she was young and in a movie when she drove. She had never guessed at the pleasure of choosing which turns and roads to take, where to stop. Nor the rushing air buffeting her face and whipping her iron hair as though it were child's hair. As though they had given her the whole country for her own. Did men, she wondered, have this feeling of lightness, of wiping out all troubles when they got into their cars or trucks? Their faces did not show any special pleasure when they drove. Men understood nothing of the profound sameness, week after week, after month of the same narrow rooms, treading the same worn footpaths to the clothesline, the garden. You soon knew it all by heart. Your mind closed in to the problems of cracked glass, feeling for pennies in linty coat pockets, sour milk. You couldn't get away from troubles. They came dragging into the mirror with you, fanning over the snow, fillled the dirty sink. Men couldn't imagine women's lives, they seemed to believe, as in a religion, that women were numbed by an instinctive craving to fill the wet mouths of babies, predestined to choose always the petty points of life on which to hang their attention until at last all ended and began with the orifices of the body. She had believed this herself. And wondered in the blue nights if what she truly felt now was not the pleasure of driving but being cast free of Mink's furious anger. He had crushed her into a corner of life.

"Coming back from her journeys, from seeing houses set in a hundred positions, some beside the road, some back in a knot of trees like a brooch on a hill's breast, her own house showed up as a slatternly lean of paintless clapboards, the porch slipping away like melting butterscotch."

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