The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy's The Road (2006), a Pulitizer-Prize-winning postapocalyptic novel, is a diffcult read for an HSP. It's a gut-wrenching depiction of humanity, yet I recommend it for no other reason than I believe the young boy protagonist to be a fellow HSP. In the following excerpt, a thief has stolen the grocery cart full of all the worldly possessions of the main characters, a father and son. They chase him down and retrieve it all, leaving the thief forlorn on the road. The boy looks back.

He's not gone, the boy said. He looked up. His face streaked with soot. He's not.

What do you want to do?

The man looked back up the road.

He was just hungry, Papa. He's going to die.

He's going to die anyway.

He's so scared, Papa.

The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I'm scared.

The boy didn't answer. He just sat there with his head bowed, sobbing.

You're not the one who has to worry about everything.

The boy said something but he couldn't understand him. What? he said.

He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.

© 2011 Jon Andreas. All rights reserved. Written March 2011