Saturday, February 25, 2006

Edisto

I just started reading Padgett Powell's Edisto, a 1983 coming-of-age novel set in South Carolina in what seems to be the '50s. It's great so far.
I call them rat palms because we were pulling them off, the dead butts of branches, one night for a fire, and because you must pull very hard to rip them loose, I learned the hard way that whatever is betwen the husk and the coconut-hair bark of the tree comes down on your arm, and that night in the dark my whatever-in-between was no drowsy rumpled sparrow or polite silken tree frog but a rat about the size of possum and texture of armadillo, and it landed all over my arm from hand to shoulder in one shuddering rush, and I nearly shook my arm out of socket and got a chronic case of girls' fear of rats from that and still have it, and you would too.