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Rabbit Run

Updike, John | Fawcett Crest, 1960


p. 255

Rabbit’s wife Janice has gotten drunk and lost control of their baby daughter Rebecca so that, as Janice is bathing her, Rebecca drowns. Rabbit goes to the bathroom there afterward. “A heavy, calm volume, odorless, tasteless, colorless, the water shocks him like the presence of a silent person in the bathroom. Stillness makes a dead skin on its unstirred surface. There’s even a kind of dust on it. He rolls back his sleeve and reaches down and pulls the plug; the water swings and the drain gasps. He watches the line of water slide slowly and evenly down the wall of the tub, and then with a . . . cry the last of it is sucked away. He thinks how easy it was, yet in all His strength God did nothing. Just that little rubber stopper to lift.’