after.I love a nice walk up the street to Caliente. I get to pronounce the words papa relleno and ropa vieja and tostones, trying to communicate to the smiling owner that I, unlike most of her customers, know a thing or two about Spanish. But I know nothing, nothing, except that I like Cuban sandwiches and that I will read every last article the internet ever makes about drug violence in Mexico.
This issue of the Paris Review starts with a meandering and kind of self-indulgent piece by the late Edouard Leve, but I love it. It is so hard sometimes to know whether or not I should love something I read, and I found myself questioning myself as I read this one. "Should I really be liking this as much as I am," I will ask. And I never answer myself, but instead answer in the imagined voices of friends. I try to imagine whether Catherine would put the book down or read it in two days. If there is a part of me that suspects I'm being taken in, I imagine Joseph bestowing his inimitable "Ugh," Or if it is good in a way I can't describe, I imagine him giving it a gentle, thoughtful nod with his chin as if he's thinking about Pynchon. If I'm trying to decide what it is about the language that attracts me, I think "what would Dawn say"? It's amazing how little I participate in the formation of my own judgment.