Coffee and Crowley, Two of my Favorite Things

Scurrying past the giant windows they carried guitars, and beyond them, people examined the movie listings, tempted more by the smell of popcorn than the films. My eyes scan the dark sky. I want to dip my finger and drag it through the thick, gray foam of clouds and find the clear, brilliant blue of yesterday.

After a few hours in The Grind, rationing sips of cold coffee, I finish John Crowley’s Beasts. I originally thought it was the story Mrs. Jensen read to us in the fourth grade. She always read to us, and usually cried at the end of books like Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows. (I have no idea why the trend in plot lines with dogs dying.) But I specifically remember her saying this particular book was out of print. A faded yellow book with an outline of a red creature, small and indented on the front cover, appears in my memory.

I don’t think this book is the same, due mostly to its political nature and one brief description of a sexual encounter between a woman and a “leo” (future species crossed between a lion and man). Yes, nerd alert, I like science fiction and fantasy books…

It was a wonderful read though, and made me feel a slight tremor of terror at what our future might hold.

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