Finished The Pregnant Widow. Something happened to Amis before House of Meetings. He got good again. Good and bitter. These last two novels have been intensely delicious. The Pregnant Widow is the sloppier of the two but it has better lines. And it's what Amis has always wanted to write--a book full of fascinated and indulgent disgust about the sex lives of young men and women. About women's sexual power. ("Women's sexual power" being a very different thing in Martin Amis's mind than it would be in the mind of the average self-identified female feminist.)
Today I left my neighborhood in the morning but my car began to overheat. So I called AAA. As I was waiting by the roadside (this in the middle of West LA), a Parking Enforcement Officer pulled up behind me and told me to move, as I was parked in the red. I explained to him that I was waiting for a tow truck and he sourly told me a number I needed to call in order to save myself from an expensive ticket. And I want to say that the incident really made me aware of the citizens of Los Angeles, their sense of community and civic spirit--because as I stood there in the road, explaining myself to the toad-like PEO, not one or two but three passing motorists leaned out of their cars to hurl angry words at him. They thought he was giving me shit, and they wanted to give it back to him. They wanted him to be as miserable as possible while he did his mean and menial work. The drivers in the city of Los Angeles hate the parking police.
Then what? My car was fixed. There's a cat staying in my apartment. It's pretty smart and friendly. Sometimes it meows at me with a kind of maddened pathos. I think that means it wants to go outside, but because my neighborhood is full of opossums with big claws and scary Eskimo faces, that might not be a good idea. So when it meows I just get out the catnip, and then the little guy just passes out for a while. It's so cute.