tom robbins might be a misogynist, but i first read Still Life with Woodpecker when i developed breasts large enough to get the clerk at the gas station to sell me camel lights and the occasional bottle of sisco at 16. everything seemed possible then — peeing outside at a party, kissing another girl, playing acoustic guitar at a place where the coffee comes in cups large enough to put apples in, apples i could draw later in ballpoint pen in the book i carried around with me everywhere, the one with my sketch of an exsanguinated georgia o’keefe lilypuss i put on the cover. i signed every yearbook that year with the first letter of their name 8 inches tall and filled wiht little gargoyles and my message was the first chapter of my short story about the time a girl had sex

on the other hand, john updike wrote the story of the joyless alienating bargains i will accede to so i can delay as long as possible the realization that nobody really gives a shit if you’re making compromises with life if you didn’t bring anything to trade with