I'm reading this out at Write Club this week, because it's the night of the elections, and because i want as many people to know the true extent of Dave Egger's genius as possible. It's in 3 parts, Here's the first:
There was a group of people, called the Americans, who once had a very vivid nightmare, simultaneously. The nightmare, which lasted many years, was nightmarish in many ways - but one notable facet was that in this nightmare the vice-president of their country was someone so outwardly and cartoonishly evil that his existence seemed ludicrous and wholly unbelievable, even in a nightmare. In the history of nightmare-villains and movie-villains and villains drawn with crayons by troubled children, this man stood above them all, though he was not very tall. Or maybe he was tall, but it was impossible to tell, given he walked very much like a hunchback, his head set deep into his shoulders and favouring one side. This way of walking seemed suspect, but it was nothing compared with the way he spoke. He spoke out of a small and dark corner of his mouth, in a way that was so comically fiendish that it seemed a put-on. If an improvising actor, asked to conjure a bad man or perhaps a minion of Satan, conceived of such a way of talking, his acting coach would say, "No, no. Pull back. Way back. We're doing the vice-president here - not Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein." But this was indeed the way the vice-president spoke and walked. And his laugh? A mirthless thing, a chilling "Heh heh heh" (again, emitted from a dank corner of his mouth) accompanied by a forced shaking of his round fleshy back. Yes, yes, a fleshy back that was, like the rest of him, always sweating. Or it seemed always to be sweating, every inch of him, oozing with oil and perspiration and, perhaps, small brown-black worms that would leave and enter him via his pores, their bidding known only to him. Was he impervious to death? He seemed to be. Over the years of this nightmare-life, God had tried, four or five times, to kill this man, by striking his heart. But each time the man's heart was struck, the vice-president laughed his rat-rat-tat laugh and shook his fleshy back, mocking God in much the same way that vampires mock certain crosses, or, say, anal leakage mocks olestra.
I'll post part 2 tomorrow and part 3 on Tuesday, before i go to the bar to watch the elections broadcast live. Should be a long night!