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197 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1973
some old shed self that came yet from time to time in the name of sanity, a hand to gentle him back from the rim of his disastrous wrathHowever, being so withdrawn and removed from society, the voice of civilized reason is most often lost in the wilderness of wickedness. His criminal acts seem a way he has found to give voice to a sense of impotence and alienation he has felt all his life.
"He moves in the dry chaff among the dust and slats of sunlight with a constrained truculence. Saxon and Celtic bloods. A child of God much like yourself perhaps.
"The people Jesus loved were shopping at the Star Market yesterday.
An old lead-colored man standing next to me at the checkout
breathed so heavily I had to step back a few steps.
Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and
hawking into his hand. The feeble, the lame, I could hardly look at them:
shuffling through the aisles, they smelled of decay, as if the Star Market
had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in
with the rest of them—sour milk, bad meat—
looking for cereal and spring water.
Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car
in the parking lot later, stumbling among the people who would have
been lowered into rooms by ropes, who would have crept
out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands
and knees begging for mercy.
If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought,
could I bear the look on his face when he wheels around?"