Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 57 (Toni Morrison)

The Bluest Eye by Michael_Kelleher
The Bluest Eye, a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.

Morrison, Toni
The Bluest Eye

I am pretty sure that this was my high school English class text book. I can't remember when I read it. Early in high school, I think. Freshman or sophomore year. It may have been summer reading between the two years. I know I read part of it, but I can't say for certain that I read all of it.

I rarely read entire books at that time and I don't recall ever returning to the book in later years when I began to read more seriously. Either way, that makes it one of the older books in my library -- or one of the longest personally owned by me, anyhow. It must have been with me since 1983 or so.

It is also possible that this is not my copy, but my brother Chris's. He went to the same school, had most of the same teachers, and actually read most of the books he was assigned. I think the more likely scenario is that it was mine and that he inherited from me before I stole it back from him later on.

Makes for a better ending, anyhow.

from The Bluest Eye

Nuns go by as quiet as lust, and drunken men and sober eyes sing in the lobby of the Greek hotel. Rosemary Villanucci, our next-door friend who lives above her father's cafe, sits in a 1939 Buick eating bread and butter. She rolls down the window to tell my sister Frieda and me that we can't come in. We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth. When she comes out of the car we will beat her up, make red marks on her white skin, and she will cry and ask us do we want her to pull her pants down. We will say no. We don't know what we should feel or do if she does, but whenever she asks us, we know she is offering us something precious and that our own pride must be asserted by refusing to accept.

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