Friday, August 24, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 53.2 (John Steinbeck)

The Pearl
Steinbeck, John
The Pearl

I have no idea where I bought this, or if I bought it, borrowed it, stole it, etc. But here it is. I did read it. Of that much I am certain.

I keep thinking about that shopping center.

We lived on a cup de sac in a kind of no man's land between two towns. To the southwest was Oakton, where the sopping center was. To the northeast was Vienna, which also began with a commercial center. About a half mile from our street, on the Vienna side of 123, a sign read "Leaving Vienna." About a quarter mile in the direction of Oakton, another sign read, "Welcome to Oakton."

I always found this confusing. We weren't in Oakton and we weren't in Vienna. However, we did have Vienna mailing address. for some reason, I thought I remembered that the area had become a part of Oakton, but according to Google it is still part of Vienna, although the zip code had changed from 22180 to 22181.

Anyhow, I used to walk to the Oakton shopping center in one direction or to 7 Eleven in the other direction. Those were the poles of my existence as a kid.

I have no idea where this is going. I guess I'll stop.

from The Pearl


Kino awakened in the near dark. The stars still shone and the day had drawn only a pale wash of light in the lower sky to the east. The roosters had been crowing for some time, and the early pigs were already beginning their ceaseless turning of twigs and bits of wood to see whether anything to eat had been overlooked. Outside the brush house in the tuna clump, a covey of little birds chittered and flurried with their wings.

Kino's eyes opened, and he looked first at the lightening square which was the door and then he looked at the hanging box where Coyotito slept. And last he turned his head to Juana, his wife, who lay beside him on the mat, her blue head shawl over her nose and over her breasts and around the small of her back. Juana's eyes were open too. Kino could never remember seeing them closed when he awakened. Her dark eyes made little reflected stars. She was looking at him as she was always looking at him when he awakened. 


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