There are certain things I do, and we all do throughout the year to get the mood going to enjoy the season just right. I listen to the Horrible Crowes Elsie once the calendar hits September, I go to the Grand Canyon and walk around in the heat every summer, I listen to the Texas Rangers in the Spring, I read the entire Football Outsiders’ Almanac before the season starts, and other things I can’t think of that just sort of naturally happen as the weather morphs its way around time.
Of all these things reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road every winter is my favorite. I wait until darkness comes at 6 p.m. again, when the days become cloudy and hazy and rainy, when the weather doesn’t get cold because it never does down here, but when it becomes an inconvenience. I put on my breathing mask. I sit underneath the lamp in a dark room and travel through the apocalypse. It’s the perfect setting for this awful and despicable landscape.
Of all his novels this one is his is easiest to read. The prose is short and crisp and stripped away. The violence still exists, but there’s no
dead babies, eye balls getting sucked out of heads, or necrophilia, or intensely detailed knife fights. It’s exact and perfect.
Despite how bare the words are, he says so much with so little. Every time I read this book there’s something else I pick up to better understand the world and the setting, and every time it makes me feel something different. And in it there is so much to unpack and it gets me thinking about so many different things: whether or not I would eat someone (the only ethical question in this book), my father, the past times I’ve been in love, the only food source that remains in this world, finding meaning in a meaningless world, climate change, and hiking and other things.
Because of how and when I read it it acts as an earmark of the years that have gone bye. Reading it at the bus stop before heading to school. Reading it in an empty house while everyone else has already gone back home in that desolate city. Reading it and bursting into tears in my tent, all alone, in Yosemite’s back country with it 7 degrees outside. And this year, reading it underneath the Milky Way in Big Bend with the coyotes yipping and yapping down the block.
So if you haven’t read it you should. If you watched the movie and didn’t like you should still read it. If you have read it you should read again.
Anyways, that’s all I got. I hope you enjoy your Saturday Night with us here. Just remember the same commenting rules apply even when it’s after dark.