Reid attended Tom McGuane’s signing for his new book of short stories, Crow Fair, at the Tattered Cover, where they talked of Helen’s meteoric rise, gun nuts, and the blog– I was pleased to know he sometimes checks in. He was kind enough to send down an inscribed copy via Reid– thanks to both.
I have read several of these stories already, mostly in the New Yorker; some are funny, some very dark. I see a deep Irish thing there, transplanted to the Plains; I often find the same thing in North Dakota poet Tim Murphy: “Cast a cold eye/ On life, on death. / Horseman, pass by…”; though I think both Tom and Tim are merrier characters than Yeats…
But for some reason I went to the back of the book to read the last line of the last story and laughed aloud, albeit not without that frisson of recognition of one’s own mortality that accompanies such rueful truth- telling. It applies to me as well as it does to his narrator, and to Tom, who is eleven years older than I am. And you’d better believe he did it consciously.
“Lately, I’ve been riding a carriage at the annual Bucking Horse Sale, waving to everyone like an old-timer, which I guess is what I’m getting to be.”