Sunday, May 27, 2018

on my list

Dear Readers,

I have a word here, for our consideration:  peroration.  I found it in the 'bonus section' of a 50th anniversary edition of Catch 22.  I know I looked it up once before, but I couldn't remember what it meant.  As for Catch, I have been meaning to read it for decades.  I took the book from my parents' bookcase, in '95 or 6.  I think I put it aside at page 37.  I might even have taken it earlier than that, but I know that I have had it in three different domiciles, and on four different book shelves.  I lost it, in fact, and searched all over for it before capitulating and getting it from the library.  My paramour thought he had a copy too, but that also couldn't be found.  I don't know for certain that I would even have gotten it read yet.  Here's what it took to read it; a short version:

Taking the book from my parents to begin with, many moons ago, then hauling it around for a long time.  Meanwhile, I dated a lot of people, thinking it would be nice to have a mate and maybe offspring.  More time passed.  I finally found someone I could stand and we got married.  At this point, it was rather late, biologic-clock-wise, so we next had a baby.  Then, he grew and changed and learned to read, and 13 years later he wanted to read Catch 22.  But, we couldn't find the book.  We got it from the library and he read it and he told me little bits and he laughed at it, and he said: 'you should read it- it is a great book.'  The library has a very generous renewal policy, and you can have a book for three months if no one else requests it, so I read it.  Near to the end of reading it, I found the old missing copy- with its dyed leaf edges, in a deep blue green color that suggest a sulfurous smell.

And that's what it takes to read a book, and you can talk to me about your puny procrastination and your perverse pride in it, but I, dear ones, took 22 years to read Catch 22.  Beat that, if you dare!

If you do beat that, then set your sights on this:  I found in my journals (which, you will recall, I am transmuting into sculptural objects) an intention to read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom in 1992.  I haven't even opened it, but my consort* read it 4 or 5 years ago, and so the book is on the shelf and the clock has been ticking already for 26 years, and counting!

* A partial list of unsatisfying words to be used instead of 'husband:'  concomitant, mate (ugh!), spouse, partner, helpmate, other half (dear god!), old man.  It's enough to keep a person from getting married in the first place.  'Swain' is worth a closer look, but it's aimed a bit more at the time before a marriage, like the word suitor, or beau.