The Wire | Denis Johnson
A timely excerpt from Denis Johnson's first novel, Angels (1983)
"He held his breath. Every rivet of metal was a jewel to him. He felt he could hold his breath forever—no problem. Boom, boom. Even as his heart accelerated, it seemed to him inexplicably that his heart was slowing down. You can get right in between each beat, and let the next one wash over you like the best and biggest warm ocean there ever was. His eyes were on fire. He hated to shut them, but they hurt. He wanted to see. Boom! Was there ever anything as pretty as that one? Another coming . . . boom! Beautiful! They just don't come any better than that."
"He was in the middle of taking the last breath of his life before he realized he was taking it. But it was all right. Boom! Unbelievable! And another coming? How many of these things do you mean to give away? He got right in the dark between heartbeats, and rested there. And then he saw that another one wasn't going to come. That's it. That's the last. He looked at the dark. I would like to take this opportunity, he said, to pray for another human being."