A Donald Barthelme Collection

Title:  Paradise
Printing:  1987
Year of publication:  1986
Publisher:  Peguin
City:  New York
Number of Pages:  208
Cover:  paperback
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number:  87-8774
ISBN:  0-14-010358-9


After the women had gone Simon began dreaming with new intensity. He dreamed that he was a slave on a leper island, required to clean the latrines and pile up dirty-white shell for the roads, wheelbarrow after wheelbarrowful, then rake the shell smooth and jump up and down on it until it packed solid. The lepers did not allow him to wear shoes, only white athletic socks, and he had a difficult time finding a pair that matched. The head leper, a man who seemed to be named Al, embraced him repeatedly and tried repeatedly to spit in his mouth. He dreamed that his wife, Carol, had driven a large bus, a Metro bus filled with people, into the front of his building. It was not her fault, she told him, a Japanese man who had not had exact change when he got on the bus, in fact had asked her to change a fifty-dollar bill and had, moreover, insisted that she stuff nine fives into little envelopes printed with colorful out-of-register scense from the Bible for his first Presbyterian contributions over the next nine Sundays, was the true culprit. Simon woke early, five o'clock and six o'clock, cracked new bottles of white wine and smoked tasteless Marlboro Light 100s and wondered what to do next.