As I was sitting on the beach in Belize, writing about the great January 27 snowstorm, John Updike was dying.
He has been a part of my life for so long. Since I first read Couples, in that strange libidinous decade of the seventies. Since my writer friend Terry and I found Shillington on a map and went there; found someone in the Town Hall who knew where his house was; and then, miraculously, found another person who drove us out of town to the house where he unhappily moved at 13. Since I learned he stuttered and had psoriasis.
Terry Gross interviewed him just after Self-Consciousness was published, and she replayed excerpts from that interview yesterday. “It’s a strange thing,” he said, “to be born into a certain body instead of an ideal body.”
Maybe it’s just that I can still listen to his voice, but it does seem as though what was born into that certain body, and left that body Tuesday, is still out there somewhere.