조 힐이 스티븐 킹의 아들이라는 건 처음 알았다. 어쩐지 문체나 전체적인 분위기가 많이 비슷하더라..
딱 내 취향이 아니다 싶은데도 요상하게 술술 잘 읽혀서 매일 밤을 꼬박 새워가며 읽었다. 그리고 마지막에 Treehouse of the Mind 다시 찾아가는 장면에서 좀 슬퍼서 울컥했음... ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 스티븐 킹 소설도 재미가 있건 없건 쉽게 쭉 읽기가 좋은데 아들이 아마도 아버지에게서 글쓰기를 배운 게 아닐까 싶었다.
After that, Ig’s mother had suggested bass, but by then Ig wasn’t interested in mastering an instrument. He was interested in Merrin. Once he was in love with her, he didn’t need his family’s horns anymore.
They sat indifferently in tree branches hanging out over the water, or astraddle mountain bikes, or perched on boulders, all of them trying to look coolly unhappy. That was another side effect of those girls on the rock. Every boy there wanted to look older than every other boy, too old to really be there at all. If they could, with a dour look and a standoffish pose, somehow suggest they were only in the vicinity because they had to babysit a younger brother, all the better.
Poor kids often dressed up. It was rich kids who dressed down, carefully assembling a blue-collar costume: eighty-dollar designer jeans that had been professionally faded and tattered and worn-out T-shirts straight off the rack from Abercrombie & Fitch.
The White Album, then. Except coming in at The White Album was like walking into a movie in the last twenty minutes. You’d get action, but you wouldn’t know who the characters were or why you were supposed to care.
Ig shivered. “So are you going to be a hit man when you grow up?” he asked. “Why?” “’Cause you only like music you can murder people to.” “No. Just it ought to set the scene. Isn’t that the whole point of music? It’s like the background to what you’re doing.”
It was no work to be together. It was the most natural thing in the world.
“I was bored. I was so bored. And I was sitting there imagining a hundred more mornings, roasting in the sun in that church, dying inside one Sunday at a time while Father Mould blabbed away about my sins. I needed something to look forward to. Some reason to be there. I didn’t just want to listen to some guy talk about sin. I wanted to do some myself. And then I saw you sitting there like a little priss, hanging on every word like it was all so interesting, and I knew Ig, I just knew—that fucking with your head would present me with hours of entertainment.”
He saw a shopping cart upended in a ditch at the side of the road and wondered how it was that shopping carts sometimes found their way out here, where there was nothing. It went to show that no one knew, when they abandoned a thing, what misuses it would be put to later by others. Ig had abandoned Merrin Williams one night—had walked away from his best friend in the world, in a fit of immature, self-righteous anger—and look what had happened.
Besides: The language of sin was universal, the original Esperanto.
The soul may not be destroyed. The soul goes on forever. Like the number pi, it is without cessation or conclusion. Like pi it is a constant. Pi is an irrational number, incapable of being made into a fraction, impossible to divide from itself. So, too, the soul is an irrational, indivisible equation that perfectly expresses one thing: you. The soul would be no good to the devil if it could be destroyed. And it is not lost when placed in Satan’s care, as is so often said. He always knows exactly how to put his finger on it.”
“Look at the girl I loved and who loved me and how she ended. She wore the cross of Jesus about her neck and was faithful to the church, which never did anything for her except take her money from the collection plate and call her a sinner to her face. She kept Jesus in her heart every day and prayed to Him every night, and you see the good it did her. Jesus on His cross. So many have wept for Jesus on His cross. As if no one else has ever suffered as He suffered. As if millions have not shuffled to worse deaths, and died unremembered.
I see God now as an unimaginative writer of popular fictions, someone who builds stories around sadistic and graceless plots, narratives that exist only to express His terror of a woman’s power to choose who and how to love, to redefine love as she sees fit, not as God thinks it ought to be. The author is unworthy of His own characters. The devil is first a literary critic, who delivers this untalented scribbler the public flaying He deserves.”
“Only the devil loves humans for what they are and rejoices in their cunning schemes against themselves, their shameless curiosity, their lack of self-control, their impulse to break a rule as soon as they hear tell of it, their willingness to forsake their immortal soul for nookie. The devil knows that only those with the courage to risk their soul for love are entitled to have a soul, even if God does not.
“And where does this leave God? God loves man, we are told, but love must be proved by facts, not reasons. If you were in a boat and did not save a drowning man, you would burn in Hell for certain; yet God, in His wisdom, feels no need to use His power to save anyone from a single moment of suffering, and in spite of his inaction He is celebrated and revered. Show me the moral logic in it. You can’t. There is none. Only the devil operates with any reason, promising to punish those who would make earth itself Hell for those who dare to love and feel.
But Merrin preferred fiction, high-end book-club stuff. She liked things that had been written by people who had lived short, ugly, and tragic lives, or who at least were English. She wanted a novel to be an emotional and philosophical journey and also to teach her some new vocabulary words.
Even Christians can’t really decide what to do with him. I mean, think about it. Him and God are supposed to be at war with each other. But if God hates sin and Satan punishes the sinners, aren’t they working the same side of the street? Aren’t the judge and the executioner on the same team?
“Nah. Hero, for sure. Think about it. In his first adventure, he took the form of a snake to free two prisoners being held naked in a Third World jungle prison by an all-powerful megalomaniac. At the same time, he broadened their diet and introduced them to their own sexuality. Sounds kind of like a cross between Animal Man and Dr. Phil to me.”
He still didn’t know if he could do it over a phone, if the influence of the horns could be shot from a radio transmitter and bounced off a satellite. On the other hand, it was a well-known fact that cell phones were tools of the devil.
Maybe all the schemes of the devil were nothing compared to what men could think up.
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