Archive for the '36 Years Old' Category

Thirty-Six Year Old – Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom



He opens another beer. The pull-tab breaks, so he has to find the rusty old church key underneath everything in the knife drawer. He heats up two Salisbury steak dinners; while waiting for the oven to preheat to 400º, he reads the ingredients listed on the package: water, beef, peas, dehydrated potato flakes, bread crumbs, mushrooms, flour, butter, margarine, salt, malto-dextrin, tomato paste, corn starch, Worcestershire sauce, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, monosodium glutamate, nonfat dry milk, dehydrated onions, flavouring, sugar, caramel color, spice, cysteine and thiamine hydrochloride, gum arabic. There is no clue from the picture on the tinfoil where all this stuff fits in. He always thought gum arabic was something you erased with. Thirty-six years old and he knows less than when he started. With the difference that now he knows how little he’ll always know. He’ll never know how to talk Chinese or how screwing an African princess feels.

John Updike, Rabbit Redux

Published in: 36 Years Old | on July 21st, 2010 | No Comments »

Thirty-Six Year Old – Julia Martin



At night she slept heavily, without dreaming. When she awoke she was still weighed down with fatigue, so that she could dress only very slowly, and with great effort.

She thought: ‘I’ve been back a week and three days – a week and four days today. Well, I can’t go on like this.’

She got up and shut the window, so as not to be overlooked.

She wrote:

Jeane dame (36), conaissant anglais, francais, allemande, cherche situation dame de compagnie ou gouvernante. Hautes references…

As she wrote references, she thought: ‘Now, where did I put that letter?’ It had been given her three years before by a Frenchwoman.

A feeling of panic seized her. She was sure she had lost it. And if she had, where was she to get anything else would serve as a reference? Her hands trembled with fright as she searched.

‘Anything puts me in a state now,’ she thought.

She found it at last, in an envelope with a card on which was written: ‘Wien, le 24 aout, 1920. Menu.’ At the back of it were a number of signatures.

She looked at the menu for a long time. ‘I can’t believe that was me.’ And then she thought: ‘No, I can’t believe that this is me, now.’

Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie

Published in: 36 Years Old | on July 21st, 2010 | No Comments »