Jonesing for data

walter-wabash

Jess Walter reads excerpts of his work during a visit to Wabash College in Indiana.

While the rest of the digital world indulges in TBT, I’m following up yesterday’s post with some fine writing from Jess Walter’s book “Beautiful Ruins.”

“Claire wakes jonesing for data; she fumbles on the crowded bedside table for her BlackBerry, takes a digital hit. Fourteen e-mails, six tweets, five friend requests, three texts, and her calendar – life in a palm. General stuff, too: Friday, sixty-six degrees on the way to seventy-four. Five phone calls scheduled today. Six pitch meetings. Then, amid the info dump she sees a life-changing e-mail, from affinity@arc.net. She opens it.”

 

“P.E. Steve drove a Plymouth Duster with deep bucket seats. He had a gone-to-seed superhero look, with blocky, side-parted hair and a square jaw, and an athletic body just starting to swell with middle age. Men have a half-life, she thought, like uranium.”

 

“Sometimes, during her various rounds of chemo, she had wanted the pain and discomfort to be over so badly that she could imagine being comforted by her own death. That was one of the reasons she’d decided – after all of the chemicals and radiations and surgeries, after the double mastectomy, after the doctors tried every measure of conventional and nuclear weaponry against her diminishing frame, and after they still found traces of cancer in her pelvic bones – to just let the thing run its course. Let it have her.”

Photograph: wabash.edu

 

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