Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories
Behind the newspaper Julian was withdrawing into the inner compartment of his mind where he spent most of his time. This was a kind of mental bubble in which he established himself when he could not bear to be a part of what was going on around him. From it he could see out and judge but in it he was safe from any kind of penetration from without. It was the only place where he felt free of the general idiocy of his fellows. His mother had never entered it but from it he could see her with absolute clarity.
Even a child with normal feet was in love with the world after he had got a new pair of shoes.
Everything that gave her pleasure was small and depressed him.
He groaned to see that she was off on that topic. She rolled into it every few days like a train on an open track. He knew every stop, every junction, every swamp along the way, and knew the exact point at which her conclusion would roll majestically into the station
He loved her because it was his nature to do so, but there were times when he could not endure her love for him. There were times when it became nothing but pure idiot mystery...
He was pleased that she should see death in his face at once. His mother, at the age of sixty, was going to be introduced to reality and he supposed that if the experience didn't kill her, it would assist her in the process of growing up. He stepped down and greeted her.
I am not a warthog from hell.
Julian thought he could have stood his lot better if she had been selfish, if she had been an old hag who drank and screamed at him. He walked along, saturated in depression, as if in the midst of his martyrdom he had lost his faith.
Most things are beyond me," Block said. "I ain't found anything yet that I thoroughly understood,
Mother! he cried. Darling, sweetheart, wait! Crumpling, she fell to the pavement. He dashed forward and fell at her side, crying, Mamma, Mamma! He turned her over. Her face was fiercely distorted. One eye, large and staring, moved slightly to the left as if it had become unmoored. The other remained fixed on him, raked his face again, found nothing and closed. Wait here, wait here! he cried and jumped up and began to run for help toward a cluster of lights he saw in the distance ahead of him. Help, help! he shouted, but his voice was thin, scarcely a thread of sound. The lights drifted farther away the faster he ran and his feet moved numbly as if they carried him nowhere. The tide of darkness seemed to sweep him back to her, postponing from moment to moment his entry into the world of guilt and sorrow.
Mrs. May winced. She thought the word Jesus should be kept inside the church building like other words inside the bedroom.
Mrs. Turpin felt entirely hollow except for her heart which swung from side to side as if it were agitated in a great empty drum of flesh
Parker sat for a long time on the ground in the alley behind the pool hall, examining his soul. He saw it as a spider web of facts and lies that was not at all important to him but which appeared to be necessary in spite of his opinion.
Remember what you won't get if you don't mind," her grandfather remarked.
She appeared to adore Thomas's repugnance to her and to draw it out of him every chance she got as if it added delectably to her martyrdom.
She had managed after he died to get the two of them through college and beyond; but she had observed that the more education they got, the less they could do. Their father had gone to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and he could do anything.
She had observed that the more education they got, the less they could do. Their father had gone to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and he could do anything.
She was a good Christian woman with a large respect for religion, though she did not, of course, believe any of it was true.
The lights drifted farther away the faster he ran and his feet moved numbly as if they carried him nowhere. The tide of darkness seemed to sweep him back to her, postponing from moment to moment his entry into the world of guilt and sorr.
Thomas had inherited his fathers reason without his ruthlessness and his mothers love of good without her tendency to pursue it. His plan for all practical action was to wait and see what developed.
True culture is in the mind, the mind, he said, and tapped his head, the mind. Its in the heart, she said, and in how you do things and how you do things is because of who you are. Nobody in the damn bus cares who you are. I care who I am, she said icily.
Wait here, wait here!" he cried and jumped up and began to run for help toward a cluster of lights he saw in the distance ahead of him. "Help, help!" he shouted, but his voice was thin, scarcely a thread of sound. The lights drifted farther away the faster he ran and his feet moved numbly as if they carried him nowhere. The tide of darkness seemed to sweep him back to her, postponing from moment to moment his entry into the world of guilt and sorrow.
Wesley, the younger child, had had rheumatic fever when he was seven and Mrs. May thought this was what had caused him to be an intellectual.
Will you for Gods sake get off that subject? Julian said. When he got on a bus by himself, he made it a point to sit down beside a Negro, in reparation as it were for his mothers sins.
Writing this, he had reached the pit of despair and he thought that reading it, she would at least begin to sense his tragedy and her part in it. It was not that she had ever forced her way on him. That had never been necessary. Her way had simply been the air he breathed and when at last he had found other air, he couldn't survive in it. He felt that even if she didn't understand at once, the letter would leave her with an enduring chill and perhaps in time lead her to see herself as she was.
Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away.
You remain what you are. - Everything That Rises Must Converge