Correction: The whole trouble with sometimes getting carried away with yourself and entertaining the fancy that perhaps your professor in college was on to something when she told you that you write like William Faulkner is that you sometimes get carried away with the fourth of fifth sideline in a run-on sentence and forget the main point of the sentence. The following sentence in the last paragraph should read "He remembered it well simply because of the novelty of it and also because it slightly annoyed him that anyone, less a boy (A boy so discerned because of his unpredictable gait and the suddenness with which he turned aside, walked backwards and in other eager manner, so took in the mountain wilderness, no doubt anxious to stumble upon some phenomenon or awe-inspiring sight to share with his friends back home in the Midwest. That was the trouble with children, they could never appreciate nature for nature's sake. It always had to be something worth telling.) would breach the sanctity of his domain."
And so on . . .
For a long while Joshua had harbored this territorial attitude with complete innocence. It was only at that moment, standing in the kitchen shadows, essentially hiding from a young boy, that he realized it, mulled it over, and accepted it with only a little sheepishness. He was a writer. And what was a writer without a few endearing eccentricities? And so justifying his private turf war, he donned the mantle of the hermit, if only partially. In fact, it became the topic of frequent monologues delivered to David Copperfield, and Ebenezer. The former rarely regarded him with any interest during these tirades, but rather seemed to take it as an invitation to indulge his fondness for bathing. The latter eyed him with a cold stare. In some ludicrous way, the dog sometimes seemed a representative of the small reserve inside his conscience that still clung reluctantly to the dismally cyclical reality he eschewed. With some amount of imagination added, he could swear the blue eyes rolled heavenward every time he complained of even the slightest encroachment of those who exhibited no proper appreciation and therefore had no business trespassing, his un-paved, un-landscaped, and otherwise un-spoiled sanctuary. David Copperfield indulged his outbursts at times by leaping into his lap and rubbing hard against his chest, but he entertained the notion that the aloof Husky served as his silent detractor. And, unconsciously, it became all the easier to ignore the unwelcome voice of reason.
It wasn't that Joshua disliked people.
Or so he told Ebenezer.
A clock on the desk read 9 a.m.
Resignation propelled him off the chair and into the bedroom, a spartan expanse of polished hardwood, antique brick and rough cedar, in search of a coat and a pair of boots.
For the longest time after his solitary adult life had come of age, he had alternated between an orderly chaos and frenetic meticulousness. A deep resentment of domestic duties that plagues both sexes, but afflicts males with a greater severity, fostered perpetual procrastination, until an undesignated amount of time and an undesignated lack of order accumulated, at which time he set about straightening with a grim efficiency. Religious adherence to orderliness followed for a certain time afterwards, in which not a shoe lingered by the front door, and not a wrinkle marred the woven rug in front of the fireplace.
Impulses aren't habitual, however, and as time marched on, preoccupation with more pressing matters, and impatience with even the slightest interruption of any given literary mission flung a coat across the mantel and left kitchen chairs at odd angles with the dining table, and so on and so forth, until the wilderness took back the land.
He had, after five years, hammered out a treaty between obsession and complete disorder.
The deal was tenuous, with occasional aberrations, but a happy medium with a wide margin seemed to have been settled upon. He still went on short binges of radicalism, but the one thing that saved him from being completely given over to fanaticism was the memory of a college roommate, a choleric priest of the goddess of fussiness.
So, if Joshua was an eccentric, reclusive hermit, he was a temperate, eccentric, reclusive hermit, as one might be moderate libertarian, or a middle of the road anarchist.
Book Review: Peace for Today
11 months ago