Thursday, August 21, 2008

A standard deviation.

I think a lot about the strange interconnectedness of unrelated things. Sometimes it really does seem when one door closes, another one or two opens. Sometimes the little accidents that befall us all lead to truths or greater understanding, and sometimes when you really need something, it sort of just turns up.

Back before my present troubles began, I watched No Country For Old Men. The movie is based on the book by Cormac McCarthy and really kind of stunning. It was just one of those things where I saw it and thought, "I wonder what they left out?"

The book wasn't at the main branch library. I did a search through one of their computers and saw a list of books available by the author. I requested No Country For Old Men and The Road. I'd already seen the movie for the one book. The Road seemed shorter and better place to start.

This was going against type for me. I'm used to picking up books about lepers and cannibals, not books blessed by Oprah Winfrey. There was a note about that on the cover, but I went ahead anyway.

The Road is about a father and son journeying through a bombed out, starved and dying America. They're traveling south and toward the sea, in hopes of finding a safer and more hopeful life. This is a murdered world. Most of mankind have reverted to little more than feral dogs killing or raping then killing any living thing.

As bleak and horrifying as the stage McCarthy has set, the story is one of a very selfless love between father and son. The boy's father is dying, but desperate to get his son to safety. He continues on and even retains his humanity because of the boy. It was an easy read, but a hard, hard book, but it was exactly the right book.

Not everybody is going to get what I mean. I'm not comparing my current predicament with living out of a shopping cart and warding off cannibals with a nearly empty pistol --though, it could feel that way. I'm only saying I understand why McCarthy's father character would do the things he did, why he would try so hard. I related and didn't feel so alone.

It was a random book, picked up for a random reason. It was a book about terrible things in a place pretty close to hell. It was a comfort when I needed it.

3 comments:

kenju said...

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

primalscreamx said...

Something like that.

Jay said...

I keep putting The Road back on the shelf because of the Oprah sticker. Well, that and the "Journey" part.

The movie didn't leave much - if anything - out. In fact, it may be the first time I thought a movie was better than the book.