the-mysteries-of-pittsburgh

Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon goes up to the counter and orders an iced coffee. It makes sense to him. It’s cold outside and his drink should be, too. A shiver passes through him. He stares at his palm, where he’s incoherently diagrammed a series of complex chess moves. A bell tower in the distance strikes three times. His short, hairy companion lopes out into the street. The seventh-inning stretch is about to end.

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
—  The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Michael Chabon)
I felt happy – or some weak, pretty feeling centered in my stomach, brought on by beer – at the sight of the fading blue sky tormented at its edges with heat lightning, and at the crickets and the shouting over the water, and by Jackie Wilson on the radio, but it was a happiness so like sadness that the next moment I hung my head.
—  Art Bechstein (Michael Chabon - The Mysteries of Pittsburgh)

Drew one of my bookshelves ♥

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness—and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
— 

Michael Chabon, final paragraph of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

I just finished rereading this novel, and the final paragraph hit me particularly hard, because the first (and, until now, the only) time I read the novel was in 2004…and I am now writing a novel based on some of the events of 2004, and yes, this is how I feel about that summer of my own life, that whole year of my own life.

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. 

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
—  Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh