Buku Platte River by Rick Bass

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Platte River by Rick Bass

Author:Rick Bass

Language: eng

Format: epub

ISBN: 9781948924054

Publisher: Arcade

Published: 2019-02-25T16:00:00+00:00

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Platte River by Rick Bass

PLATTE RIVER

The man must not drink of the running streams, the living waters, who is not prepared to have all nature reborn in him — to suckle monsters.

— THOREAU, August 1851 journal

 

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Platte River by Rick Bass

 

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Platte River by Rick Bass

Author:Rick Bass , Date: June 11, 2019

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Author:Rick Bass

Language: eng

Format: epub

ISBN: 9781948924054

Publisher: Arcade

Published: 2019-02-25T16:00:00+00:00
PLATTE RIVER

The man must not drink of the running streams, the living waters, who is not prepared to have all nature reborn in him — to suckle monsters.

— THOREAU, August 1851 journal

Shaw used to be a model and is still beautiful, fierce and timid both, like a coyote or a wild dog — more beautiful, in that way, than when she modeled. Harley is strange looking, as plain as butter, huge, and believes in his heart, with his ragged dress, his half beard, his falling-out hair, and his badger’s temper, that he makes Shaw feel older, less beautiful, less whole. Less than what she used to be. Harley tells Shaw this, to hear her deny it, and she does deny it, and keeps denying it until the time she packs to move out, saying that she feels older, no longer beautiful, no longer whole — but that it’s not Harley’s doing.

Harley’s forty-one. Shaw is thirty-eight. Old enough to have lived full lives, and yet they have not even started.

She takes her time leaving this time. Usually she bolts in the night, hitchhiking, since they have only one old truck between them, which runs infrequently. But this time Shaw has told Harley of her fears, her feelings, calmly, matter-of-factly, rather than just fleeing. She’s already met with the bank officer in the small town nearest where they live. It’s an hour’s drive down out of Canada, along a one-lane cliff road. Shaw and Harley have a mailbox in northern Montana, but they live up over the line, ten miles into Canada, on an old logging road. Their house is an abandoned hunting lodge, large and airy, with the stuffed heads of deer and elk, moose and bear, staring down at them from the walls — ancient heads from animals shot fifty and sixty years ago. It’s such a fairy-tale existence, Harley thinks, with the big, stone-circled fireplaces, the cavernous bedroom — everything oversized, as if a giant had once lived in the lodge — that he often thinks they’ve died and are living some sort of afterlife, separate from the real world.

Then Harley realizes that’s the problem, that he loves the empty, echoing, ringing feeling, but that Shaw is terrified of it.

She used the silk scarves that she paints as collateral. She stretches the silk between sawhorses in the back yard, and then, wearing a big straw hat to protect her face from the thin mountain sun, she paints abstract patterns across the silks before hemming the edges and sewing them into things — scarves mostly, but also skirts, blouses, ties. The car she’s taken the loan on is an old Subaru. Shaw parks it in the back yard and paints that, too — autumn red and lichen green, swirling.

“I need a car that’ll get around in the snow,” she tells Harley. It’s April, the month it always is when she leaves, right after the long winter. Like an animal coming to its senses, Harley thinks; like an animal waking up.

It’s late April and she’s talking about snow.

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