“More and more since Father’s departure Mother thought of the old Ohio homestead. The summers there were gravid with promise and red-winged blackbirds flew up from the hay meadows. The furnishings of the house were spare, and country-made. Ladderback chairs of pine. Polished wood floors of wide boards fastened with dowels. She loved that house. She and Younger Brother played on the floor by the light of the fire. In their games she always instructed him. In winter their horse Bessie was hitched to the sleigh and bells were tied to her collar and and they skimmed over the thick wet Ohio snowfalls. She remembered Brother when he was younger than her own son. She took care of him… And now, in this season of life, alone in her modern awninged home at the top of the hill in fashionable Broadview Avenue with only her small son and her ancient father, she felt deserted by males and furious with herself for the nostalgia that swept through her without any warning at any hour of the day or night.

EL Doctorow, Ragtime

That feeling when the thing you’re feeling is written down, and has been all this time, and all you had to do was pick up the book and find it.


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