Sacré Charlemagne! My Garden State broheim Steven Hart has meme-tagged me. I am rarely a perpetuator of memes—not because I wish to be rude, but because I often have nothing clever to add—but Steven makes it easy for me. He asks me to take my own book and do the following:
• look up page 123
• look for the fifth sentence
• then post the three sentences that follow that fifth sentence on page 123.
Thusly and forthwith:
Did the Holy Father really have, across his eyes, a scar as pure and white as any dove? Perhaps they paused in their work—hard days of August spent harvesting, a September spent sowing rye and winter wheat—to mutter half-hearted nonsense about foreigners. Strange men continually visited the king, but after all this time, few were exotic enough to concern the locals.
I haven’t read my own book since shortly before it was published, so it’s odd, even eerie, to revisit a passage I wrote in 2005 and almost see it anew, while recalling, not necessarily fondly, the crepuscular smudge of sleeplessness, stalling, and ambient cop-show marathons that got the book finished. (On the up side, I finally got to see, after ten years, what the guy who delivers the morning paper actually looks like. Imagine his surprise.) How strange that for an author, a published book is a private time capsule—even if it does emit a little voice that keeps intoning, “get cracking on the next one.” (A voice that sounds suspiciously like my agent.)