THIS ISN’T THE GOOD PART, or the best part. This is the sentimental part. There are much better, much funnier, much more inventive examples of his writing than this. No, this is the part that made me dog ear the page like a schoolboy who looks for life’s answers in a comic book (and who quickly learns to believe more in the solitude and alienation of the alter ego than in the grandeur of the super hero). It’s also the part that makes me question why I picked up the book in the first place. It had been on my Amazon wish list for more than year, but just the other day while I was wandering around Union Square, a strange compulsion got me to go into Barnes & Noble and buy it. Then I come across these words, and they seem to perfectly echo some thought I’ve had just under the skin these last few months. I don’t know if I would have even recognized their meaning if I had read them at some other time in my life. Not like I do right now, anyway. Is there some strange coincidence that governs when we read the things we read? It’s either very good writing that makes the words seem as if they were written just for you just at that moment. Or it is simply our own weakness for sentimentality, which I willingly display here as evidence of my own:

RUTH: You know, the sad thing . . . The sad thing isn’t that love comes to an end. Or that people go out of your life, or die. The really sad thing about the world is that you get over it.

– From “Ancient History” by David Ives