In addition to Rainbow Rowell, Jonathan Tropper is the second author I’ve discovered this month. I found him on buzzfeed’s 16 books to read before they hit the screen. Fyi, Mark Helprin’s Winter Tale is extremely slow going.
The quotes below are not taken from “This is where I leave you”, but from “One more thing to do before I go”
He loves her as much as any man can love a woman he’s never spoken to, which is significantly more than you’d think. It’s a pure love, epic in its own way. If the situation called for it, he’d step in front of a speeding bus for her.
Sounds like all teenage love to me :P I wonder if I would step in front of a speeding bus for L. And even if I would, when you are older, there are more difficult and complex motivations than “preventing someone from dying”. There is also “not wanting to be the one left behind”, which can be construed as selfish.
Denise is squinting into her magazine in much the same way she used to squint at him, peering into his workings like a mechanic trying to find the frayed wire, the loose connection responsible for his host of malfunctions. This sense memory of her habitual contempt serves as a toehold for his short-term memory, which doesn’t so much come back as reveal itself to have been there all along, temporarily camouflaged against the sandy texture of his brain.
As she hits the second incline, she hears “On your left” as another cyclist passes her. He’s forty-five or so, riding a carbon fiber Pinarello, for God’s sake, and wearing one of those absurdly colorful racing jerseys like he’s training for the Tour de France instead of getting in a morning ride before putting on his jacket and tie and heading off to an office somewhere. The Pinarellos start at $5,000, like you need a bike of that caliber to ride Lake Terrace Boulevard. Men and their hardware. Rich is the same way about golf, always looking for the latest equipment. And she remembers teasing Silver about his constantly evolving drum kit. He couldn’t walk into a music store without finding something to buy. She wonders about the nature of the hole they’re trying to fill with all of this gear.
She is suddenly filled with a fury that makes her bowels clench. Rising off her seat, she leans into her pedaling, unwilling to let this brightly colored asshole beat her. She has had it with men, with their gear and their holes, their relentless cocks, and the messes they make.
The cyclist, sensing her approach, takes a look over his colorful shoulder and Denise sees his own ass rise from his seat. It’s on. She shifts down one gear and speeds up her pedaling. Ahead of her, she hears the grind and click of his $5,000 gears, and she knows he’s done the same. He’s not about to let a woman pass him.
Fuck you, she thinks at him. Fuck your middle-aged, weekend warrior, veiny-calved, overcompensating, overspending ass.
I hate men like that. You know the other day Mf was telling me about some guys she met in church who would sit in her car on the way to church retreats and tell her “wow, you drive very well”. She is a nice, sensible, adult woman, so her biggest inclination was to retort “You drive very well yourself.” I am about half her age and have about a tenth of her sensibility, so my compulsion leans more towards clocking them in the face than fighting with the pen.
He cringes when she says this, as she knew he would. His buttons have always been right there on the surface, just waiting to be pushed. She loves him for this readability, for all the time not spent wondering what he’s thinking or feeling. And sometimes she hates him for it.
HAHA this is totally what liangze is. To a tee.
He loved a girl once. She was pretty and kind, soft and hard, had a quick wit and a killer smile, and for reasons that never really crystallized for him, she loved him back. She laughed at his jokes and craved his body and threw herself into loving him with a blind trust that warmed his heart even while it terrified him. When they made love, they did it with fierce abandon, and it was they who shook, not the earth. And afterward, as they lay together hip to hip, her sweat on his tongue, he would make promises, and she would believe them. It had not been love at first sight, more of a slow burn, but when it hit, it hit like a tsunami. And then, one evening, as they ate ice cream by the wharf, he asked her to take off the Claddagh ring she wore so that he could see it, and when he handed it back, it was a diamond ring. And she couldn’t stop crying, and he kissed her tears and promised her that he’d never make her cry again, and that was just one of the hundreds of promises he would break sooner than even he ever would have believed.