The man, outside my own, who I have long fantasized about being stranded with on a deserted island, is dead.
It wasn’t for the sex. I chose him because I couldn’t imagine a more ardent thinker, seductive conversationalist or outrageous dreamer, who, staring into the belly of extinction, could help keep me laughing, crying and sane. My people, trust a writer, the brain is a beast and will find ways to care for its shell. I can survive on food-for-thought alone.
She knew him: from that point on he was going to lose control, his speech would become disjointed, he would be at her mercy, and he would not find his way back until he had reached the end. She led him by the hand to the bed as if he were a blind beggar on the street, and she cut him into pieces with malicious tenderness, she added salt to taste, pepper, a clove of garlic, chopped onion, lemon juice, bay leaf, until he was seasoned and on the platter, and the oven was heated to the right temperature. *
Love in the Time of Cholera may have sustained me as I chewed it up, writhing in an electric blanket on a Lazy-boy chair in the winter, for two inflamed, unwashed days, gorging on every sentence, but my first introduction to the Marquez master-meals One Hundred Years of Solitude saved my life in one long, soaring, mind-fucking feast as I flew from Baltimore to Newark, buckled into an 18-seater plane, rocking turbulence in a pounding snowstorm, devouring the banquet of its last, astounding eighty pages as the roar of the engine noise and Gabo’s heart-attacking prose wiped mortal fear off my map, flooding me with love and hope and I could not breathe, eat, drink, puke or sleep until every bloody letter was drawn into my veins.** Stumbling off that plane in Jersey, lurching towards Montreal, I was drunk as a skunk on pure art, soul and heart: the inextinguishable light of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s inner world.
He advised her to cry to her heart’s content, and to feel no shame, for there was no greater relief than weeping, but he suggested that she loosen her bodice first. He hurried to help her, because her bodice was tightly fastened in the back with a long closure of crossed laces. He did not have to unlace them all, for the bodice burst open from sheer internal pressure, and her astronomical bosom was able to breathe freely.***
RIP Gabo. Love for all times.
*Excerpt from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
**In humble homage to the astonishing The Autumn of the Patriarch, the longest sentence I have ever written.
***Excerpt from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
GOOD NEWS FLASH: He left an unpublished manuscript here.
Read, read, read. Writers die, but great literature lives on.
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