Update of October 4, 2020: Return Trip from Midland

About an hour and a half ago, I got home from a trip to Midland, Texas to visit my wife for reasons I shall not disclose here. I will say that all is well in Slattery-world now.

At Buzzard Beach, Arkansas
At Buzzard Beach, Arkansas

What has now become my custom is to spend a night en route either at my stepdaughter’s apartment in Fort Worth or at a La Quinta in Garland (for more on Garland see the opening scene in Zombieland). Last night I chose the former. I drove on to Gillett today taking about eight hours including two side-stops at two Half-Price Books, one in Ft. Worth and the other in Garland) plus lunch at Torchy’s Tacos in Fort Worth. Terrific tacos by the way.

I will make this short, because I need to go to bed soon. I had almost no sleep last night. That is a common, long standing issue with me and has nothing to do with my stepdaughter’s apartment. I also stayed at her place en route Midland, but slept well that night.

For a good part of the journeys to Midland and back, I listened to an audiobook of Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo. Though of course it is beautifully and masterfully written, this is one of the most boring books I have read in a long time. I chose it because the spaceship in “Alien” is the Nostromo and I thought I might find a clue as to why that name was chosen. I also wanted to read something of Conrad’s besides Heart of Darkness.

The first seven chapters are Conred describing the geography, people, and upper class of Costaguana. I am up to chapter three of the Second Part and the character Nostromo is mentioned only a few times, but each time with increasing detail. Sometimes Conrad gets into somewhat exciting passages when describing revolutions or other conflict, but mostly, to this point, the book is more like a travelogue. Conrad really doesn’t get too much in depth about the characters except for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gould, the owner of the San Tome silver mine and some of the figures of the Costaguana government. It seem that Conrad is going into great detail about the country to set up something to come later. I suspect this might be an affair between Mrs. Gould and Nostromo. I have not read the Wikipedia summary so that I can avoid any spoilers it may have.

Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924

This audiobook is about 19 hours long, and I am about a quarter of the way through. I will hang in there to study Conrad’s descriptions of the land and people, if for no other reason. They are very well done, and there is a lot I can learn from them.

Today, at the Half-Price Books on Hulen in Fort Worth, I picked up a radio dramatization of “Death of a Salesman” (abridged) by Arthur Miller. It’s only about 1.5 hours in length, so I listened to it between Garland and Texarkana.

Damn, this is a powerful work. I really loved it

I have never seen a performance of this on stage or on TV, but I will have to search one out now. I would love to find a video of one of the original productions, so that I can study the staging, etc. This probably hit me hard, because in it Willy Loman is 63 and I’m 62.

For such a short work, there is a hell of a lot going on it in terms of character development, revelation, interaction, disillusionment, the American dream and on and on and on.

I will try to write more about this later, but for now, I must go to bed.

Hasta luego.

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