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  • Time makes everything old so the kissing, young darkness became a monstropolous old thing while Janie talked.

    -Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937, p. 7)

    The monstropolous beast had left his bed. The two hundred miles a hour wind had loosed his chains. He seized hold of his dikes and ran forward until he met the quarters; uprooted them like grass and rushed on after his supposed-to-be conquerors, rolling the dikes, rolling the houses, rolling the people in the houses along with other timbers. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.

    -Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

    So for a few days he ignored the decision of the coin and just drove around with the Hoover tube. At night he looked out through the windshield into the monstropolous sky and had the old realization of his universal proportions, feeling what it was to be tiny and rootless. He thought about the dent he might make on the world if he disappeared, and it seemed negligible, too small to calculate. He squandered spare minutes wondering whether 'Hoover' had become a generic term for vacuum cleaners or whether it was, as others have argued, just a brand name. And all the time the Hoover tube lay like a great flaccid cock on his back seat, mocking his quiet fear, laughing at his pigeon-steps as he approached the executioner, sneering at his impotent indecision.

    -Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000, p. 10)

    November 6, 2010