I’ve been re-reading Manhattan Transfer and enjoying it. I don’t recall when I first read it but there is no question that this current reading is more profitable. There are so many very telling and real images and touching moments of pain. The image in the excerpt below really sticks to me. As a lifelong sailor, I relate to the moments of perfection that one can have on a small sailing vessel. To see those moments of grace and feel so far from them–that’s real pain.
The sail of a catboat was a crimson triangle when it luffed a few feet from the concrete walk. A young man and a young girl ducked together as the slender boom swung across. They both were bronzed with the sun and had yellow weather bleached hair. Joe Harland gnawed his lip to keep back the tears as the catboat shrank into the ruddy murk of the bay. By God I need a drink.
Manhattan Transfer, John Dos Passos