The first half of the book is a vacuous and entertaining Sporcle quiz of 2016—2018 Twitter zeitgeist; the second half of the book is sweet and wonderful and rapturous.

It's not great literature, but Lockwood is a tremendously good writer. It is saccharine, but who cares if it made me cry and think? I think it is a book that I loved more than I liked, and I think if you have a brain similar to mind you would find it very good and very moving, even if there is a tad too much solipsis



Back in her childhood she used to have holy feelings, knifelike flashes that laid the earth open like a blue watermelon, when the sun came down to her like an elevator she was sure she could step inside and be lifted up, up, past all bad luck, past every skipped thirteenth floor in every building human beings had ever built. She would have these holy days and walk home from school and think, After this I will be able to be nice to my mother, but she never ever was. After this I will be able to talk only about what matters, life and death and what comes after, but she still went on about the weather.

The things she wanted the baby to know seemed small, so small. How it felt to to to a grocery store on vacation; to wake at three a.m. and run your whole life through your fingertips; first library card; new lipstick; a toe going numb for two months because you wore borrowed shoes to a friend’s wedding; Thursday; October; “She’s Like the Wind” in a dentist’s office; driver’s license picture where you look like a killer, getting your bathing suit back on after you go to the bathroom; touching a cymbal for sound and then touching it again for silence; playing house in the refrigerator box; letting a match burn down to the fingerprints; one hand in the Scrabble bag and the IIIOUEA; eyes racing to the end of the Villette (skid the parts about the cretin, sweetheart); hamburger wrappers on a road trip; the twist of a heavy red apple in an orchard; word on the tip of the tongue; the portal, but just for a minute.

The flick of Joseph Campbell’s too-long fingernails in The Power of Myth, as he speaks of the creeper that climbed the coconut tree in his house in Hawaii, how the creeper knew where to go and where to turn its leaves, how it had a form of consciousness. “I begin to feel more and more that the whole world is conscious.” That “These are the eyes of the earth. And this is the voice of the earth.”

If all this was thinking, then what was the head?

Lightning bolt
Subscribe to my newsletter

I publish monthly roundups of everything I've written, plus pictures of my corgi.
© 2024 Justin Duke · All rights reserved · have a nice day.