Coconut Yogurt and TC Boyle


I’m sitting in the most comfortable chair in the world. I just biked around a lot and then came back to my friend’s where I’m staying and ate chicken broth with seaweed in it, and also coconut milk yogurt. Did you know there was such a thing as coconut milk yogurt? There’s no dairy or soy in it. I’m not sure if it really exists, tho. The yogurt had all these additives, and a lot of sugar, even though I got “plain”. I think it might just be a scam. They should call it “Cultured Carrageenan- Coconut Flavor.”

This chair is making me want to take a nap. It’s a big overstuffed recliner. Someday when I live somewhere, I am going to have one of these. Today I’ve been reading How To Become A Famous Writer Before You’re Dead, by Ariel Gore. I like it a lot. I also like that she’s queer and lives in Portland. It’s like one of my friends wrote a book for me, about how to be a writer. I also tried to read a bit of TC Boyle, earlier at Powell’s. I picked up his book Drop City, about a hippie commune in the sixties that decides to move to the Alaskan interior. On the cover of this book is a photo of a bunch of naked people laying in a field in a circle, face down, with their heads together in the middle. They all have long hippie hair. I thought- that cover’s pretty dumb and sensational, but surely the book is good. I mean, I’ve never read this author, but he sure has won a lot of awards! And what a plot!

Ha. The chapters I read were nothing but sex, drugs, and bad run-on sentences. And I know a bad run-on sentence when I see one, because I am a bad run-on sentence veteran. Don’t fear the period, man. I mean, run-on sentences done right can be incredibly beautiful. But his just seemed- stupid. And fake. And the characters did so many drugs. They were high constantly! They woke up high to a glorious sunrise (extra glorious cuz they were high), they milked the goats high (p.s. Dear TC Boyle- goat milk is not yellow), they made a big pot of lentils together, high, and then in the evening they started to come down. So they did more drugs and danced around topless.

I mean, come on. I know the hippies did drugs, but was it really like that? I always thought that the hippies were sort of like my friends are today, only not as sober and they wore less black, and weren’t nearly as feminist. But if you were part of a collective, and your collective did that much drugs, and you decided to move to the Alaskan interior, there’s no way you would survive.

Damn. Now I wish I had the book here with me. I didn’t read the ending part. Do they survive? I have no idea. Maybe they die, and it makes the whole book worth it.

We’ll never know.

4 thoughts on “Coconut Yogurt and TC Boyle

  1. Do you really wanna know? If you don’t wanna know, stop reading.

    They all die. Except for that main character girl who turns out to be the only one with any common sense.

    I think TC Boyle is popular for the way his books end, rather than the beginings or the middles. The endings are always some kind of unresolved vague moral dilemna which I used to feel stupid for not appreciating better, but I now know is an important element of literature.

  2. They all die? Really? How do they die? Starvation? Drug overdose? And what’s the moral dilemma? Maybe- hippies act totally nonsensical, but then they all die anyway, which is what happens when you “drop out”?

  3. ariel gore’s book is great because her voice comes through in a really down to earth tell-it-like-it-is sort of way. i just finished it not too long ago. good fodder.

    speaking of unresolved vague moral dilemna endings…i just read a peter carey book “his illegal self” which is vaguely about SDS and the weather underground and the personal havoc the revolutionaries caused in their family lives. i can’t stop thinking about it… peter carey is the bomb. also read “the true story of the kelly gang” also a unresolved vague moral dilemna ending.

  4. I don’t remember exactly how they all die. I think some of them fall in the river and some of them starve and one or two freeze to death, and maybe one accidentally shoots himself or something. I don’t remember exactly the dilemna, either. It might have been that, at the end, the main character woman had found this new self reliant bliss, but all her friends couldn’t handle self reliance and died. Or maybe not. His endings are always summarised in the last line, though, so if you see it again, check the last sentence or two. The last sentence I remember, from another book, was, “that’s right, I am human.”

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