A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || February 10, 2002 || 1:00 am

Reading a friend’s post about high school reminded me of something.

My mom has had this great bookshelf in her home the whole of my life. It housed some great fucking books, man. I first discovered Poe there. When I was in the third grade I finally started keeping that one in my room, as I spent so much time with it. I would pore and pore over the things good ole E.A. wrote, fascinated by the way he arranged phrasing, erotically repulsed at the premise of this or that plot.

HEY! Calm yourself; stop freaking out. I read all the Ramona Quimby books that year, too. But my teacher sure did pop a big one when she sent us out into the world to learn a minimum of six lines of poetry and I came back a recited The Raven to my little moppet consortium. Class discussion after that resulted in a few stammering questions from the teach, the sound of crickets and many puzzled looks from all the little Izod-wearing desk decorations in the room.

That bookcase -as I was saying- was mighty fine and held works that ran all over the literary map. There was a Reader’s Digest book or two, a Vine’s, the aforementioned Poe, Hope of the Nation, Portrait of a President, The Iliad, The Arabian Nights, Flowers for Algernon, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, cummings, Diary of Anne Frank, a battered brown-covered, gilt-lettered dictionary, A Separate Peace, To Kill A Mockingbird, I Am The Cheese. There were lots more, but they escape me right now….

Funny side note about I Am The Cheese…I’ve always had a habit of reading two or three books concurrently. Around the same time I pulled I Am The Cheese from mom’s bookshelf and cracked it open, I got a copy of Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret from my fourth-grade classroom shelf. Mom saw me reading it one day and flipped out when she found out they had that book on school shelves. I Am The Cheese was acceptable reading, somehow, but Judy Blume’s tome of pre-teen angst was unequivocally NOT. I still laugh my ass off at that one. I mean, Margaret was concerned with her blooming womanhood and the lax pace of puberty, but Adam (the kid from Cheese) is psychologically fucked ten ways to Sunday, and my ma objects to the former? *hoothoot!*

I spent day upon day just standing in front of that bookcase, pulling the books out, thumbing through them, arranging and rearranging them, running the tips of my fingers across the spines. All different sizes, textures and colors to be had. *sigh* I read many of the books there time and time again, but always halted at the thin copy of The Iliad. It was an unassuming volume, bound in supple salmon-colored leather, pages crisp and burnished and set with small, even type. It was light in my hand and I always marvelled at this because somehow this book was so imposing. I would thumb through it for a while and then place it back on the shelf every single time. It was a hopeful sort of gesture rather than a defeated one. No matter how frequently or drastically I resituated other books in the bookcase, that book always occupied a shelf above my head. I would look up at it after returning it to its perch, touch it gingerly and say, “One day I’m gonna read you. Not today, but someday…”

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

(you know you want to)