I’m not a person who underlines phrases that speak to me in books. I’m not one who even thinks that phrases speak to me in books. But during this project, I’m going to try and be that kind of person. I think it will add something to the discussions about the books and maybe even give you all a little insight into who I am.
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but the time has come. My previous quotes were all parts I found particularly meaningful or poignant enough to stand out, to need to be shared. My favorite quote from I Shudder stands out, but for a different reason all together.
And so it goes:
“And so I continue in borderline poverty, save for my one indulgence, no, my single absolute necessity: I take cabs. Yes, on occasion, when I wish to see what people with unpleasant skin conditions are wearing, I do take the subway. I have never, I am proud to say, taken the bus, because people who take the bus have given up. They have said, I am nothing, I will never know a second’s joy or even the most minuscule accomplishment, I am a rotting fleshbag rolling toward my squalid garden apartment in one of those fictional neighborhoods, such as Inwood or Yorkville. I am not living, I am simply waiting to be recycled; instead of a soul, I own a Naugahyde briefcase or a clear plastic rain bonnet, I am God’s mucus, and therefore—I take the bus.”
As someone who takes both the subway and the bus, I couldn’t help loving this paragraph. As far as I can tell, I am not yet a rotting fleshbag or someone who owns a clear plastic rain bonnet, but you’ve got to give it to Paul Rudnick for his imagery. And his character’s intense hatred of all things public transportation.