Consumables #140 Reading: The Tightrope Walkers

This Fourth of July, we had no plans, other than to perhaps spend the day lolling about the house with nothing to do other than watch old Dawson’s Creek episodes, which, when you think about it, is as American as you can get. However, we went out for our customary Saturday breakfast and while sitting there, one of us said to the other: what should we do today? And the other person said: I don’t know. Go somewhere? And we finished our breakfast, walked out of the restaurant, got in our car and just drove out of town with no plan. OPEN ROAD BADASSES. That is, if you can define a badass as someone who just had an heirloom tomato scramble and is now driving off in a Prius, which of course you cannot.

We drove north and ended up at Deception Pass, which sounds like a place where we were going to have a shootout in a saloon, but is actually a bridge overlooking some breathtaking nature stuff. You can walk across the bridge, which we did, and I have to tell you that being up that high made me a little funny in the tummy which is a new thing for me and I ain’t happy about it. I wouldn’t say I was scared, but I wasn’t exactly comfy either. When did that happen to me? Dang. At one point I fully had to do that thing where I just concentrated on the walkway beneath my feet because walking fast while up that high felt a little tightrope-ish. Made me feel ancient. Anyway, we made our way down to the water and frolicked around the State Park beach and then we made our way back up. We then drove around Whidbey Island, just wandering, and it was a gorgeous day. We ate lunch in a little town called Langley. We walked around a farm that had a pie cafe attached. We wandered around the ferry dock, and then we rode the ferry home that night. The entire day was gorgina.

Anyhoos, let’s talk about a book. A recent one I read is called The Tightrope Walkers by David Almond (you guys I mentioned a tightrope already in this post and I didn’t even plan it! And yet I feel proud of it like I did. Let’s pretend I did). It’s the story of Dominic, a kid growing up in a shipyard town in England, where his dad works his hiney off, proudly and resentfully, which seems exactly the right reaction to his life. Dominic has nothing but opposing paths to choose from. Will he become a shipyard worker like his dad or will he try for another life? Will he stick with his artsy, smart, gentle friend Holly and her imaginative perspective even though he’s also drawn to Vincent, a rough dude whose only hobby is being a mean, violent dipshit? You root for Dominic, but his circumstance seems likely to pull him down– which is what makes this narrative (although deliberately paced) suspenseful.

Can we talk about The Tightrope Walkers without bringing in this jam? Methinks not.

Tightrope, by Janelle Monae

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