Friday, February 17, 2012

The Books: A Sport and A Pastime by James Salter 2

"Some things, as I say, I saw, some discovered, and some dreamed, and I can no longer differentiate between them. But my dreams are as important as anything I acquired by stealth. More important, because they are the intuitive in its purest state. Without them, facts are no more than a kind of debris, unstrung, like beads. The dreams are as true and manifest as the iron fences of France flashing black in the rain. More true perhaps. They are the skeleton of all reality."

James Salter.You describe that place between our life, the world, our literature. Somewhere there is the sweet spot where something experienced meets dream and a fuller truth is born because of it. I wrote a story once about a sister. Somehow it speaks more of the truth of that relationship than any memoir. It is the dream mixed with the facts that flush me out, the real me, the me that you might train a gun on and kill more easily than flesh and blood. Perhaps this is what is missing from my story, that heady mix.

I stop the bus. She exits. I walk with her up towards the bridge. She tugs my arm and I stop beside her. My story isn't done. She tells me and I nod. You are nothing. You are smoke. You are pretty glints on the river that disappear as soon as you take a step and change the refraction of the light. I could be you. She says this. I could be part of you, your skeleton.

I turn back towards the bus stop. I feel the sights, all those French country guns trained on us. The curvature of my spine, the pain in my hip, the crack in my back. She steps me surely away from the surety of death and into the line of fire. She slips my hand into Salter's and together we smell the sweet hint of gas.

No comments: