21-11-16

Garth Risk Hallberg

 

Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Amerikaanse schrijver Garth Risk Hallberg werd geboren in Louisiana in november 1978 en groeide op in Noord-Carolina. Zie ook alle tags voor Garth Risk Hallberg op dit blog.

Uit: City on Fire

“It was connected with the doctor’s studious skirting of the word “father” and its equivalents, which of course kept the person they referred to at the very front of Charlie’s mind. But suppose they were right: the school guidance counselor, his mom. Suppose the dead father lodged in his skull was making him sick, and suppose Dr. Altschul could pry Dad out, like a bad tooth. What, then, would be left of Charlie? So he talked instead about school and pee-wee league, about the Sullivans and Ziggy Stardust. When given a “homework” assignment—think about a moment he’d been scared—he talked about the terrifying dentist his mom used to make him go see on the thirty-eighth floor of the Hamilton-Sweeney Building; how old Dr. DeMoto once scraped his plaque onto a saltine and made him eat it; and how the window, inches away from his chair, gave onto a sheer drop of six hundred feet. Mom had this idea that for the finest care, you had to go to Manhattan. In fact, maybe ponying up for a fancy headshrinker now was contrition for Dad; maybe she thought if he’d been rushed after the second heart attack to a hospital in the City, he’d still be alive. “Heights—that’s what scares me,” Charlie said. “And fires. And snakes.” One of these wasn’t even true. He’d put it in to test Dr. Altschul, or throw him off the trail.
Then one Friday, a month before school ended, he found himself holding forth with unexpected vehemence about Rabbi Lidner. This had been another of his “homework” assignments, to “recover” his feelings about his adoption. “Abe and Izz will do fine with the Torah study, it’s in their blood, but honestly, sometimes I feel sorry for them. They don’t know what they’re in for.”
There was a twitch, a resettling of fingers on the cardigan, like a cellist’s on his instrument, a movement at the corner of the therapeutic mouth too quick for the beard to camouflage. “What is it you feel they’re in for, Charlie?”
“All this stuff about being shepherded, watched over…You and I both know it’s bullshit, Doc. If I was any kind of brother, I’d take them aside and tell them.”
“Tell them what? Shall we role-play?”
Charlie let his gaze rest on Dr. Altschul’s pantheistic tchotchkes. “You know. You are alone, you were alone, you will be alone.”
“This is a worldview you have.”
“I’ve only been saying this for like two months now. What I feel is, basically, you’re an alien dropped on a hostile planet, whose inhabitants are constantly trying to tempt you into depending on them. Have you seen The Man Who Fell to Earth?” Charlie’s face was hot, his asthma tightening his throat. “I realize that maybe sounds like a metaphor, but you listen to David Bowie, he’s thinking about what people will face in the future. I guess I’m trying to, too. Because there’s two ways of taking off a band-aid.”

 

 
Garth Risk Hallberg (Louisiana, november 1978)

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