If one reads Updike’s Rabbit, Run beside Coetzee’s
Master of Petersburg and these books alone because,
let’s just say they’re the last books on earth
(for reasons we won’t go into), then one will see that
on page twenty in both books the word falling
is on the same page as the word egg, though these words
are not connected through syntax or metaphor.
Neither Updike nor Coetzee embellishes his egg
with Fabergé complication or Easter-dye blue.
There’s no discussion of whether the plunge
comes after a short-lived journey up
or whether our egg simply rolls off a counter top
as eggs do. “And so what?” you may ask,
“why shouldn’t these two writers use these two words?”
Isn’t it strange though, how quickly these two
unchaperoned words birth an image? Each novelist
uses egg and falling with no apparent connection
only to have these two isolated words
connected (perhaps against their will), and not only this,
but the two writers themselves, each writing independently,
connected too. Not by the stars or comets,
but by a reader prone to happenstance,
a reader who recently enjoyed egg drop soup
and the autobiography of John Nash. A reader
immersing himself in the only logic that for him exists,
a reader absorbed by the quiet stirring image
of a continuously falling egg,
an egg that escapes its predictable conclusion
through perpetual descent.
Noah F. Grossman lives in Brooklyn. He’s published writing in Fiction365, McSweeny’s, and InDigest. You can see more of his work here.