Play a game, make a list, draw a dog, tell a story, take a step. (from Zero K by Don DeLillo)
Will some of these children be able to venture into adulthood, become grown-ups in outlook and attitude, able to buy a hat, cross a street. I looked at the girl who could not take a step without sensing some predetermined danger. She was not a metaphor. Light brown hair, sunlit now, a natural blush on her face, an intent look, tiny hands, six years old, I thought, Annie, I thought, or maybe Katie, and I decided to leave before she was done playing the game in front of her, parents’ day over, children free to move to the next activity.
Play a game, make a list, draw a dog, tell a story, take a step.
Some days are better than others.
(I think this devastating passage may be one of the central moments of Zero K. Something about it pierces my core, and makes me think of generations to come and what strange world they may grow up to inhabit. A full review of this masterpiece is imminent.)