the grapes of wrath, john steinbeck

And always, if he had a little money, a man could get drunk. The hard edges gone, and the warmth. Then there was no loneliness, for a man could people his brain with friends, and he could find his enemies and destroy them. Sitting in a ditch, the earth grew soft under him. Failures dulled and the future was no threat. And hunger did not skulk about, but the world was soft and easy, and a man could reach the place he started for. The stars came down wonderfully close and the sky was soft. Death was a friend, and sleep was death’s brother. The old times came back – a girl with pretty feet, who danced one time at home – a horse – a long time ago. A horse and a saddle. And the leather was carved. When was that? Ought to find a girl to talk to. Might lay with her, too. But warm here. And the stars down so close, and sadness and pleasure so close together, really the same thing. Like to stay drunk all the time. Who says it’s bad? Who dares to say it’s bad? Preachers – but they got their own kinda drunkenness. Thin, barren women, but they’re too miserable to know. Reformers – but they don’t bite deep enough into living to know. No – the stars are close and dear and I have joined the brotherhood of the worlds. And everything’s holy – everything, even me.

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