Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More Q

Did I mention that I have really been enjoying Evan Mandery's Q?  I finished it tonight; loved it.  I recommend it whole-heartedly.

In my last post, I didn't really say what Q is about.  In Q, the narrator's future self travels back in time repeatedly to correct his path.  Eventually the visits become more and more frequent and contradictory.  In one visit, his 60-year-old self encourages to become more socially involved.  Among other things, he then joins the Hash House Harriers, whose goal is to "acquire a good thirst and satisfy it in beer."  That, and the beer and jalape no poppers at Diablos Cantina, do not help him get healthy.

Then his 68-year-old self visits him and shows of his scars from open-heart surgery.  He decides to get serious about fitness:
I quit the Harriers and join the Central Park Running Club.  They meet on Tuesdays for interval training, Wednesdays to run hills, and Thursdays for speed workouts.  On weekends, the members take long runs, sometimes fifteen or twenty miles, either around the park loop, or up Riverside Drive, or east onto Randall's Island. . . . The running is addictive, and I find myself going out to train every morning. . . . In the fall I run the New York Marathon, in the spring, the Boston.  I begin to plot training regimens to get my marathon time down under three hours.  I consider the Hawaii ultra-marathon, one hundred miles on the Big Island.
However, his 72-year-old self shortly drops in and bursts his bubble.  "You need to stop running so much. . . . You're ruining your knees."  So, with his older self's encouragement, he takes up . . . swimming.

 Evan Mandery, Q: A Novel (Harper: New York, 2011), 303-308.

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