Photographed by entelpelente on the flickr.
But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
(Kerouac, Jack. On the Road, 1951.)
Won’t you please go crazy just once in a while.
My daughter and I went to the downtown branch of our public library today, to which I had not been in epochs. A year, at least.
We went a little crazy.
Photographed by realbelgianwaffles on the flickr.
I had to buy two more bags so we could carry the books, and my bag ripped so we were drag-assing to the car, both of us weighted down by several bags each. The trunk was stuck, and propping the ripped bag on my hip in order to try and really pull up on the lid sent half the books sliding like an avalanche over my shoulder because of the arch my body was in, where they tumbled behind me to the ground and christ-knows-why cartwheeled in to the smack middle of the drive. Why not?
Kidlet instinctively darted out to retrieve them, so I was in a panic shouting “No!”, throwing my head around to look for cars and warning her, “Get back in position!,” “position” being facing her door, with both hands on the car — yes, I know it is a seemingly fascist thing to teach a child to memorize, but it keeps her semi-secure while I try to juggle crap with my hands full in a parking lot. Today was a case in point. As soon as I’d managed to fumble the keyfob into unlock, I told her to get in the car, and as soon as her car door closed, let out a very heartfelt, “Fucking fuck!” Then I picked up the books. Twist ending!
If you think all of that’s chaotic, farcical, and vulgar, you should have seen us in the library. Think, “Jackie Chan meets the Three Stooges, with special guest writer Quentin Tarantino.”
A portion of my haul is above. Snagged a few more gems for the Wonder Woman research and a couple Hammett novels for funsies; also Far Arden and a new book by Elizabeth Kostova, who wrote The Historian (a yearly read). I almost picked up Embroideries but I’ve almost literally just reread Persepolis and I decided to wait until next time. Does anyone else find to your disappointment that when you read a great deal of someone else’s art and writing, it begins to accidentally spill over in to your own, or am I the only hack?
Anyway, it’s all at your Local Library!
Also, I wanted to show off this improvised bookcover for Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. My California copy has gone saucily topless up front for around a half a decade (thus prompting the purchase of my much more gently used Oregon copy) and I could brook no more. I decided that, after eighteen years, I no longer really needed the Kirkus and New York Times, etc, reviews at the front telling me the book was worth a look, and, knowing the dedication already — to Stan Rice, her husband —, I flipped to the first page and started duct-taping the front ten-odd junk pages together. This made a stiff enough cover so that, when I lie in bed curled on my side to read, the force of my hand holding the thicker part of the book does not wear and worry and rip away at the front any longer, saving the book from further separating from the spine.
I’m pretty proud of my shitty repair job. The spine itself has always been fine, so it as not as though the book would be anonymous when shelved or sidewise-viewed, the only ways it would matter in a search, but I wrote “The Witching Hour” and “Anne Rice” on the duct-tape cover anyway because it felt right.