Over the weekend, I finished Jim Harrison’s The English Major. It’s not a long book, but it took me a long time to read, mostly because I never really connected with the larger story or characters in the aging-guy-hits-the-road-in-search-of-self tale. Even so, I kept coming back for Harrison’s muscular, hilarious prose.
Consider this line from Page 235, uttered by the narrator, Cliff:
We said a polite hello and she bought her mother a Jack Daniel’s and coke, an inscrutable drink.
That just slayed me. A wonderful adjective, inscrutable.
For your edification, from Merriam-Webster online:
: not readily investigated, interpreted, or understood : mysterious <an inscrutable smile> <inscrutable motives>
— in·scru·ta·bil·i·ty \-ˌskrü-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
— in·scru·ta·ble·ness \-ˈskrü-tə-bəl-nəs\ noun
— in·scru·ta·bly \-blē\ adverb
Nothing mysterious about Jack and Cokes, my good man. They taste good, and they deliver a responsible measure of the desired buzz, provided they’re enjoyed in moderation. I had one Friday night, and I believe I’ll have another soon.