Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Powerfully Spiced Sausage Meat

Bill Boyle got me reading these stark novels of Osamu Dazai. I read two of them and neither one had an owl in it, as far as I could tell. But as you know, I also like books with gelatin in them, especially Jell-O. (See also.) But I'm not "blogging" anymore, so I can't just "blog" about any old thing anymore, especially seeing as how I don't "blog" anymore. But there was this interesting jelly sequence in this one Osamu Dazai novel: "Oh, I'm sorry. Have you made jelly? That's terrific. You shouldn't have bothered... it would be wicked not to eat your wonderful jelly... It tasted watery, and when I came to the piece of fruit at the bottom, it was not fruit after all, but a substance I could not identify... as I manipulated the peeling lacquer chopsticks to eat my jelly, I felt unbearably lonely." It really made wonder about the particular kind of jelly being discussed, but not enough to look anything up. And I couldn't just "blog" about that! But what if there were TWO books with gelatin in them? Suddenly we would have a theme going! Such a possibility did not even occur to me, frankly, but then there I was in Square Books all of a sudden, and hey! Do you know about this "Constant Reader" program they have? Well, it's not my job to explain it to you. But sometimes you get a free book. And I had this little slip of paper in my wallet entitling me to a free book. And that's when I saw what I didn't even know I needed, inconspicuous on a back table: the recently discovered novel by Walt Whitman. So I got it for free. And I meant to open it to the beginning but somehow it fell open to page 10, which catches Whitman mid-phrase: "preferable to some, is the powerfully spiced sausage meat, or the jelly-like head-cheese." Now we're getting somewhere! PS: Prayer works! After composing the bulk of the above, but leaving a few gaps to fill on my return, I went off to visit my mom and dad for a few days. I took with me a biography of Howard Hughes that Megan and I are reading. In my few free moments, I read some of it, which is how I came upon "Charles W. Perrelle, the able vice-president of production for the Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Company," who was, somehow, in the eyes of the authors, both a "boy wonder" and an "owlish-looking man." PPS! Not to put a cherry on top, but when I came home I watched the most recent episode of Pete Holmes's show CRASHING, which I had set to record in my absence for just that purpose. The song over the closing credits was "Sometimes I'm Happy," as performed by Jerry Lewis. Life seems to be at its peak.