Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sportsmen – Thomas McGuane



Blistering.

That’s about the best word that I can use to describe this tight little story.

I don’t think there’s a misplaced word or point of punctuation in this little work.

The most hurtful passage. The one that pains me to read – because I can see it – and wish I could turn away.

And then he didn’t come up. Not to begin with. When he did, the first thing that surfaced was the curve of his back, white and Ohio-looking in its oval of lake water. It was a back that was never to widen with muscle or stoop with worry because Jimmy had just then broken his neck. I remember getting him out on the gravel shore. He was wide awake and his eyes poured tears. His body shuddered continuously and I recall his fingers fluttered on the stones with a kind of purpose. I had never heard sounds like that from his mouth in the thousands of hours we talked.

I think it hurts me so because I see a young vibrant boy reduced to a state of utter helplessness.

Frightened.

Made into an infant.

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