The Metaphorical Urban Darkness

Monday Books has posted another excerpt of Second Opinion:
SCRATCH THE SURFACE and there is always tragedy, mixed, of course, with wickedness.
Because of the economic crisis, I was waiting at the bus station: £2.80 for a bus instead of £28 for a taxi home. I had 50 minutes to wait and was reading a book by Richard Yates. I was wondering why the literature of so optimistic a country as America was so deeply pessimistic (awareness of death is the answer, of the bust after the boom of life from which there is no upturn), when a lady in her eighties sat down beside me. She was tired. Her cheeks puffed and her lips pouted as one with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
‘I prefer to take taxis,’ she said to me, ‘but I took one yesterday and I can’t do it all the time. I’ve got a little in the bank, but you never know how long you’ll last.’

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