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From Love in the Ruins

Angelico’s recollection of Rosebud’s convoluted anus in the combox for JOB’s convoluted post below brought to mind other great ani loci in Percy’s oeuvre, including this passage from Love in the Ruins:

Like saints of old, Dusty spends himself tirelessly for other men, not for love, he would surely say, or even for money, for he has no use for it, but because people need him and call him and what else would he do with himself? His waking hours are spent in a dream of work, nodding, smiling, groping for you, not really listening. Instead, his big freckled hands feel you like a blind man’s. He’s conservative and patriotic too, but in the same buzzing, tune-humming way. His office is stacked with pamphlets of the Liberty Lobby. In you come with a large bowel complaint, over you go upside down on the rack, in goes the scope, ech! and Dusty humming away somewhere above. “Hm, a diverticulum opening here. The real enemy is within, don’t you think?” Within me or the U.S.A., you are wondering, gazing at the floor three inches from your nose, and in goes the long scope. “You know as well as I do who’s causing the real trouble, don’t you?” “Do you mean—” “I mean the Lefts and Commonists, right?” “Yes, but on the other hand—” In goes the scope the full twenty-six inches up to your spleen. “Oof, yessir!”

And of course, having first read Love in the Ruins in the 80s, I couldn’t read this without conjuring up this guy … for all I know, his son:

“It’s gone be shameful!”