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“...everybody else had always been moaning for home.”

And what, he asked himself abruptly, did he have to go back to Memphis for anyhow? He couldn't sing, he wasn't a pug, he wouldn't shine shoes, and he couldn't boogie-woogie worth a damn. He couldn't play an instrument, he never clowned, and making up berths for the Pullman Company had the same warm appeal for him as shining shoes. He wondered whether he really wanted to go back at all. Maybe he only thought so because everybody else had always been moaning for home.

- Nelson Algren, "He Couldn't Boogie-Woogie Worth a Damn" (from The Neon Wilderness)

October 27, 2017 in Books | Permalink