Walker Percy Wednesday 73

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A poor man sets store by good boots.

******

For the world is broken, sundered, busted down the middle, self ripped from self and man pasted back together as mythical monster, half angel, half beast, but no man. Even now I can diagnose and shall one day cure: cure the new plague, the modern Black Death, the current hermaphroditism of the spirit, namely: More’s syndrome, or: chronic angelism-bestialism that rives soul from body and sets it orbiting the great world as the spirit of abstraction whence it takes the form of beasts, swans and bulls, werewolves, blood-suckers, Mr. Hydes, or just poor lonesome ghost locked in its own machinery.

******

Knowing, not women, said Sir Thomas, is man’s happiness.

******

Some stayed, mostly eccentrics who don’t fit in anywhere else. I stayed because it’s home and I like its easygoing ways, its religious confusion, racial hodgepodge, misty green woods, and sleepy bayous. People still stop and help strangers lying in ditches having been set upon by thieves or just plain drunk. Good nature usually prevails, even between enemies. As the saying goes in Louisiana: you may be a son of a bitch but you’re my son of a bitch.

*******

Past history: native of Nassau, graduate of U. of Conn. and Syracuse. He tells me it is his plan to “unite in his own life the objective truths of science with the universal spiritual insights of Eastern religion.”

******

“You want to know where it all began to go wrong?” Moon asks me, nodding toward a foursome of sepia golfers.
“Where?”
“It started when we abandoned the Latin mass.”

******

“I’m staggering with her, a noble, surprisingly heavy, Presbyterian armful.
“You’re drunk.”
“Yes.”
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“In here. Put the spoon down.”
She puts the spoon down and I put her down on her new $600 bed.
To bed we go for a long winter’s nap, twined about each other as the ivy twineth, not under a bush or in a car or on the floor or any such humbug as marked the past peculiar years of Christendom, but at home in bed where all good folk belong.

Walker Percy at the Bogue Falaya River in Covington, LA