Posted Friday evening, March 9, 2019.
My birthday was over a week ago but those cards from dead writer keep coming in. This one’s from the poet and fiction writer Denis Johnson, who died last May but whose last book, a collection of short stories called “The Largesse of the Sea Maiden”, was published this past January. I don’t think Johnson and I are destined to become as good friends as Ursula Le Guin and I have, but it was nice of him to think of me…
“This morning I was assailed by such sadness at the velocity of life---the distance I’ve traveled from my own youth, the persistence of the old regrets, the new regrets, the ability of failure to freshen itself in novel forms---that I almost crashed the car. Getting out at the place where I do the job I don’t feel I’m very good at, I grabbed my briefcase too roughly and dumped half of its contents in my lap and half in the parking lot, and while gathering it all up I left my keyes on the seat and locked the car manually---an old man’s habit-and trapped them in the RAV.”
---from the title story in “The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” by Denis Johnson.