Pages of Prose

Pages of Prose – Jim Harrison

0 Comments 29 January 2014

True North
Jim Harrison
Copyright 2004
Grove Press
841 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

….I had the distinct, joyous feeling that my desk was being consecrated though I comically fell backward when I came, looking up from floor level at what I thought was the loveliest bottom in the cosmos.

At the airport she looked off at the lovely green hills north of the runway and said “You live in a beautiful place and you don’t act like you know it”. This was the rawest of points because when I looked at U.P Landscapes I often tried to imagine them through the eyes of Schoolcraft or Agassiz before the landscape was finally violated.

At the gate I saw several businessmen trying to conceal their stares at Vernice. I suppose that technically she wasn’t beautiful in the manner of magazine models or actresses¬† but she drew immediate attention of both males and females. She was full of “elan vital,” a life force as described by the French philosopher Bergson. When she kissed me good-bye before boarding she said, “Well, Quixote, I hope your god is with you. Write when you wish and remember I hate the¬† phone.” That was that. I went out in the truck and wept. I had my project and my dog with her unstable allegiances.

On my way back I stopped and got a turkey sandwich to go, glancing over at the corner table where I used to sit with my father and Cynthia. I suddenly recalled how in the third grade a little red-haired girl named Martha, the daughter of a visiting professor at the college, controlled my life. They were from Boston and she sounded strange to me but I was smitten and she authoritatively guided me through every aspect of third grade. When I went to her house to play her mother who “loved the dance” wore leotards, smoked cigarettes, and played classical music very loud.

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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