Monday, July 2, 2012

page 427


He heard the water running, and, beneath it, the sound of the rain. He ate a pork chop, greedily, with a piece of bread, and drank a glass of milk; for he was trembling, it had to be because of hunger. Otherwise, for the moment, he felt nothing. The coffee pot, now beginning to growl, was real, and the blue fire beneath it and the pork chops in the pan, and the milk which seemed to be turning sour in his belly. The coffee cups, as he thoughtfully washed them, were real, and water which ran into them, over his heavy, long hands. Sugar and milk were real, and he set them on the table, another reality, and cigarettes were real, and he lit one. Smoke poured from his nostrils and a detail that he needed for his novel, which he had been searching for for months, fell, neatly and vividly like the tumblers of a lock, into place in his mind. It seemed impossible that he should not have thought of it before: it illuminated, justified, clarified everything. He would work on it later tonight; he thought that perhaps he should make a note of it now; he started toward his work table.

- James Baldwin, Another Country

Image credit: Alan Warren, 1969