To Rise Again at A Decent Hour
A NovelBook - 2014
"Paul O'Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn't know how to live in it. He's a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God. Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online "Paul" might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul's quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual. At once laugh-out-loud funny about the absurdities of the modern world, and indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, love and truth, TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR is a deeply moving and constantly surprising tour de force" --
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Of course I alienate myself from society. It's the only way I know of not being constantly reminded of all the ways I'm alienated from society.
Everything was always something, but something - and here was the rub - could never be everything. A commitment to healthy patients and an afternoon mochaccino and pizza Fridays just couldn't be everything. The banjo couldn't be everything, either unfortunately. Streaming movies directly to the TV was almost everything when first available, but soon fell off to just barely something. The Red Sox had been everything for a long time, but they disappointed me in the end. The greatest disappointment of my adult life came in 2004, when the Yankees and won the World Series. For two months of one summer, I thought golf could be everything... So work, fun, total dedication to something bigger than myself, something greater - my work, golf, the Red Sox - none could be everything, even if each, at times, filled the hour perfectly. p5-6.
Options are important. With options came freedom, and having kids would nullify those options and restrict that freedom, and I wondered if I would resent them for it. I didn’t want to resent my kids for a decision entirely my own, the one I’d made to bring them into the world. Too many people already felt such a resentment. They’d bring their kids into the shop, and you could see it in their harried, hateful eyes.
You are too much in your own head, trying to unravel the mysteries. Sometimes they make you despair and you give up hope. However, there’s nothing wrong with being in your head. In your head, with your thoughts, you live a rich and complex life, full of anxieties and regrets, yes, but also tenderness, and fancy, and unspoken sympathy for others. There is a lot of emotion coursing through you at any given moment of the day, and maybe nobody knows it because nobody can read your mind, but if they only knew, they would say, He’s alive, all right, he’s alive. You can’t ask for much more than that.
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