I recently read through ‘Drop the Rock’, a book focused on removing character defects using steps six and seven of the 12-step program. Though I have not personally gone through the 12-steps, we all have character defects worth looking at, and I was interested in the perspective offered.
Read this still-too-timely short story by Ray Bradbury. Only a few pages long, Bradbury captured (in 1979) the despair of those with expiring visas.
The soft knock came at the kitchen door, and when Mrs. O’Brian opened it, there on the back porch were her best tenant, Mr. Ramirez, and two police officers, one on each side of him. Mr. Ramirez just stood there, walled in and small.
I also highly recommend the audiobook, read by Will Patton. He plays the part with chilling perfection, giving a better voice to the main character than my own mind did. His reading of certain lines is not to be missed.
I just started reading through Aldous Huxley’s ‘Island’, and I was immediately hooked after only a few pages. The story starts with the protagonist crashing on an island, attempting to scale a rock wall to find safety, seeing a snake coiled in the next handhold, ready to strike, and falling—only to be found and nursed back to health by a small native child.
This dialogue ensues after she tried to get him over his terrible last memory:
“You can’t be here and now,” she went on, “until you’ve got rid of those snakes. Tell me.”
“I don’t want to, I don’t want to.” He was almost in tears.
“Then you’ll never get rid of them. They’ll be crawling about inside your head forever. And serve you right,” Mary Sarojini added severely.
He tried to control the trembling; but his body had ceased to belong to him. Someone else was in charge, someone malevolently determined to humiliate him, to make him suffer.
“Remember what happened when you were a little boy,” Mary Sarojini was saying. “What did your mother do when you hurt yourself?”
She had taken him in her arms, had said, “My poor baby, my poor little baby.”
“She did that?” The child spoke in a tone of shocked amazement. “But that’s awful! That’s the way to rub it in. ‘My poor baby,’” she repeated derisively, “it must have gone on hurting for hours. And you’d never forget it.”
A reminder to be ‘here and now’, in a world full of hard to forget memories.