Shades of White

In Current reading, Hautvoir, Local projects, Revision on June 4, 2015 at 6:23 am

Of course, I have the two books side by side now. Of course, I dipped into both last night before light’s out. Heller’s Catch-22 and Redeployment by Phil Klay. Two viewpoints on the madness. The dislocations.

Shades of white. In one of the stories, Klay uses the color code white-orange-red to signify the physical/emotional/mental states in which both soldiers and civilians live – white being the place of… the place considered as normal. No body parts flying around, no state of constant and extreme alertness in case your body parts might be the next to fly. Red… I’ll leave red out of the picture for the needs of this essay.

Going from white into orange, then, coming back to white. Coping mechanisms, disruptions, the utter weirdness of what passed for normality and now serves as an extra layer of alienation.

Commonplace revisited, and none of it can make the same kind of sense again.

“There are two ways to tell the story. Funny or sad. Guys like it funny, with lots of gore and a grin on your face when you get to the end.  Girls like it sad, with a thousand-yard stare out to the distance as you gaze upon the horrors of war they can’t quite see.” (Redeployment, Phil Klay)

Shades of white.


I couldn’t avoid the picnic supper. The school year is almost over, the Special Needs programs, winding down. Lo-Cost pizza and pasta salads in the sweltering heat, after another encounter with toxic papa and prior to another trek up to a fourth-floor apartment.


In story, the scene between the mother and the son about to leave doesn’t feel right, and resisted fixing last night. Therefore, next bit of revision happens from the top of that scene.


Another apartment visit later this morning. Someone called last night to give me the name of an unofficial agent i.e. a long-time resident who knows of every available apartment  in my price range. Considering some of the disasters in my price range, I’ll approach the person with a personal Advisory posted large in my own head. Clean, quiet, central. Functional?  A definite plus.


I’m loving Catch-22, by the way. Even if I often ask myself if Joseph Heller’s love affair with the adverb is a put-on or not. For instance: “…Yossarian snorted resentfully… Stop it! Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife screamed suddenly, and began beating him ineffectually…then he caught her determinedly by the wrists… he asked her bewilderedly…”

I could go on but the bewilderedly leaves me stumped every time. Doesn’t matter.  The fight is over their respective takes on the God they don’t believe in. The God she doesn’t believe in “is a good God, a just God”… “not the mean and stupid God” Yossarian makes Him out to be.

Nonsense straight from the world of white. Adverbial overkill totally and absolutely forgiven.




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