These days, my husband smiles more and grumbles less. He now looks at the trees in the neighborhood and talks about how important they are.
“For the birds, you mean?”
“For us,” he says quietly.
And perhaps that’s it. You reach a stage in life when you yearn to do something new. You yearn to do something good. To give back. To find yourself. To rediscover love. In order to live better.
Idaho is a meditation on the power and limits of the individual imagination, as well as on memory and its aberrations. What can we understand or intuit about other people, given that our knowledge owes so much to subjective guesswork? Ann, labouring to reconstruct the unthinkable murder, recognises her imaginings as a form of fiction, projected on a world of multiple truths.
Ultimately, O’Connell isn’t shy in stating his belief that death is what gives life meaning. He invokes the gravity of death in the book’s penultimate chapter by sharing a cancer scare, a choice that echoes the words of his dramatic opening: “All stories begin in our endings, we invent them because we die.” What he does less well is convince us that life is also something that needs solving. And this is where O’Connell wants to lead us. Despite his detailed portraits of the forbearers of the movement, with their “airtight logic” and jazz hands, we simply can’t depart from the ultimatum of death itself. Most of us can’t fathom a life that isn’t given meaning specifically because we will one day no longer have it.
For example, do you see how I wrote my name in crayon on your table? That’s something that you’ll find only here, at Finuccio’s. Seeing my playfully written name in your periphery throughout your meal will make you feel instinctively close to me. And this is just one of the many things we do at Finuccio’s to make your experience a little more personal.