Novel excerpt (very rough)

The following is an extremely rough excerpt from my novel-in-progress. This comes straight from a purse notebook – I have retained all my square bracket second thoughts.

The novel is set in the San Fernando Valley. It has no fantastic elements.

Against the mattress, aware of the mattress under her shoulder blades, she thought of bending and putting her hands down and her face down into the earth, which would be warm – she thought of something between digging and diving, even sometimes putting her head [face] before her hands, and reaching the person there under the ground – pulling coffin from coffin like soft wet bark and reaching into an open place with that soft earth around them both and catching [taking] up the hand of that person and looking into their face in whatever state it found itself, and this dream [thought] was joyful not only for its offer of relief, resolution of the terrible anxiety she had felt and horror, but also in itself – as if, had it come out of nowhere, preceded by no terror, this would have been a thought of joy.Β It would have been a thought to call up and have tightly between her breasts, warm in bed and falling asleep.

In the thought she was smiling, smiling during concentration – she felt it on herself and saw it too, as one does [she always did]. A smile in concentration, which sometimes looks punchdrunk or imbecilic or stoned, because even on the face of one who is at all times aware of the way she comes across it is not an intentional expression. And too just as the thought was in itself joyful it was joyful to think Whatever state, whatever state you are in – especially delightful in fact if you are an image of horror, if you are rotted and wounded.

Her face and hands going down to that human for whom it is not a question of time counting down, who contains in them no timeline of hope or improvement – the attractiveness of hope or improvement or future removed, only the subtle thing remains. A different kind of hope, all circumstance flattened to a simultaneous place, a Grandma Moses ground. At once it seemed a horror of pain, an empathy of suffering and the joy of the suffering ended. [Somehow] it was all at once. Makayla lay on her bed and was warm, and was hot at her solar-plexus. The horrible face and the hand of the horrible face, and Makayla’s arrival. Makayla’s back and shoulder blades, the kite of her back, rebukes the space around them.

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