I just wrapped up Jonathan Tropper's One Last Thing Before I Go and, as has become customary whenever I finish something Tropper-written (as evidenced here and here), I've amassed a collection of my favorite lines to share. I believe, after this entry, I'll be legally required to change the name of this website to something a bit more representative of its contents, something along the lines of The Official Jonathan Tropper Memorial Quote Garden with a Side of Fries, for example. At any rate, below are my favorite words from Mr. Tropper's sixth novel.
"Do you believe in God?" he says.
She smiles, like she's the parent and he's the child, and makes a gesture designed to incorporate herself, him, and the world at large. "Who else could throw together such an insane shit show?"
And then, one day, in his later teens, he looked up at the sand-swirled ceiling and recalled with fond nostalgia how he used to see the face of God up there, and only then did he realize that God was gone, that he'd lost track of Him a few years back. It was like hearing about the death of a great uncle you hadn't thought about in years. You attempt to mourn, settle for nostalgia, and then move on, willfully ignoring the vague sense of unsettlement that lingers, until it gradually fades into one more thread in the tapestry of loss and regret we all weave as we grow up.
…and they all crack up, for no real reason he can think of, but still, the world feels just this side of OK for a moment.
He has never been a beer drinker, has always found it to be a sluggish buzz. He sticks to bourbon, always neat, and has learned through trial and mostly error to start watering them down after his third. But still, three shots of Noah's Mill can give him that warm flush, that sense of shifting, as if someone has been making minor adjustments to the gravity in the room.
He loved a girl once; for no particular reason, just a lot of little ones thrown together. Isn't that what love is, anyway? The sum of a million intangibles that all come together in just the right way at just the right time? Like conception. Or the universe.