the book of joe-jonathan tropper

“To err, as they say, is human. To forgive is divine. To err by withholding your forgiveness until it’s too late is to become divinely fucked up. Only after burying my father do I realize that I always intended to forgive him. But somewhere I blinked, and seventeen years flew by, and now my forgiveness, ungiven, has become septic, an infection festering inside me.” (212)

“I suspect I’m an asshole means I probably am not, because a real asshole doesn’t think he’s an asshole, does he? Therefore, by realizing that I’m an asshole, I am in fact negating that very realization, am I not? Descartes’s Asshole Axiom: I think I am; therefore, I’m not one.” (44)

this one was a result of my completistism, and before that a customer pick. it’s funny because i was just wondering how tropper felt about the movie adaptation of his book and here i am reading a book in which the character in the book has written a book that has become a movie, and the people hate it.

there is much contemplation of death and dying, age and aging, and of course the medium of it all-time:

“Time doesn’t heal as much as it buries things in the undergrowth of your brain, where they lie in wait to ambush you when you least expect it.” (28)

“Most people decompose after they die, but for athletes and rock stars, the process begins years earlier.” (48)

“Memory is never beholden to chronology.” (68)

“The music from my youth has aged poorly and is now like a joke out of context. You had to be there.” (22)

“You have to question the originality of your life when it can be captured perfectly in the lyrics of a rock song.” (82)

“All of their faces are cluttered with the shrapnel of rebellion, as if a grenade of alienation has exploded in their midst, piercing every possible soft point of flesh-from earlobes and nostrils to eyebrows, lips, and tongues-with metal studs and rings.” (173)

there is also a lot of sloppy love with good intentions:

“We sit quietly as the conversation limps off to wherever it is that conversations go to die.” (52)

“The gods of sex and irony are playing hockey, and I am their unwitting puck.” (223)

“One of the liabilities of such pristine beauty is the ease with which the slightest gracelessness shows, like muddy footprints on white carpeting.” (262-3)

“There is something tragic in the way Cindy has angrily and obsessively dedicated herself to the immaculate perfection of this room while her life and her marriage spin helplessly out of her grasp.” (270)

i also appreciate the idea of simultaneously longing for home and never leaving somewhere, but not quite being satisfied to make a home where you are, but not able to go to the next place. there are many people in my orbit (and i probably fit into this too) who are seeking a literal and/or figurative home, but there is something to be said about loving where you are. the ashes being shot out of a blown up car are reminiscent of hunter s. thompson‘s ashes being shot out a literal cannon, as his work has been shot out of the literal cannon.


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