October 6, 2010

What was that line again ...

About life imitating art?

Quick, which one is which:

Just after noon on Monday, a corner of the sludge reservoir broke, sending the goo into the surrounding countryside, turning four prosperous, picturesque villages into red-tinged towns out of science-fiction horror films. A wave of caustic red sludge had just poured in over the back fence and was descending rapidly over the backyard, smothering chickens and hares as well as a garden of flowers, peppers, grapes and tomatoes. It rose up until it covered the tiled front porch and leached in through the front door, dyeing the pristine white lace curtains red. Mr. Holczer escaped with burns on his feet from the dangerous muck. 

Beneath the cloud of vaporized chemicals, the scene was one of urgency and operatic chaos. Army helicopters hovered at various points, shining additional lights down on the scene. Colored lights from police cruisers crisscrossed these wider beams. The tank car sat solidly on tracks, fumes rising from what appeared to be a hole in one end. The coupling device from a second car had apparently pierced the tank car. Smoke drifted from red beams of light into darkness and then into the breadth of scenic white floods. The men in Mylex suits moved with a lunar caution.

Being in the middle of DeLillo's White Noise created the serendipitous, incredulous experience of reading both of these passages within hours of each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment