MY ABSOLUTE DARLING | GABRIEL TALLENT

“The temperature may rise six degrees in the coming decades, and that’s not just ‘rising temperatures,’ that’s a cataclysm. You think we can stop that? People don’t believe in obesity, and that they can see in the fucking mirror. They can’t take care of their own goddamn bodies. How many people die because their hearts are grimy with plaque, do you think? A lot. What is it – seventy percent of all Americans are overweight? Half of those are obsess? And do you think – can this person, this average American, take care of anything? No. Fuck no. So the natural world, which they cannot see for all their roads and gas stations and schools and jails, the fucking natural world, which is more important and more beautiful than anything this average American has ever seen or understood in his while fucking life the natural world is going to die, and we’re going to let it die, and there’s no way we can save it. Fuck.”

“Optimism?”

“Optimism, hell,” Martin says. “You ask sometimes, you ask somebody what they would do if the end came. You go ahead and ask them and there will be among those you ask a population that will tell you that they would just die, and among those who didn’t say it, more would mean it. People are content to live if the living should come easy. If it should stop being easy – well.” A silence. They sit for some time, and then Martin grating, his voice harsh and low, raking his fingernails across the wood grain: “Well, I tell you, what the question is asking –s – what will you do when things get hard? And life will get hard. Life will get hard, and to say that you will not fight for it – well. What intercourse can you have with such people? There can be none. Their life is a sham of circumstance only, their pretended agency is perfidy, a social lie and to regard them as people is fetishism. So what optimism can there be? They will not fight for themselves – you think they will fight for a world outside themselves? A world troublesome to imagine, troublesome to understand? They have no language to understand it, even. They see no beauty in it. And you know what the proof is? The end is coming. And here we all are – waiting, with our dicks out in our hands.”

A harrowing read. Not for everyone. Can’t imagine who will play the heroine, Turtle Alveston, now that Jennifer Lawrence is too old to play a 14-year old.