Thursday, November 29, 2012

When I was Young

When I was a a young gun, I read a lot of inappropriate books. I have an inappropriate relationship with books, period. So many books devoured raw, beastially (not a real word); not even a hello, or a thank you. I consume, I destroy spines, I steal. I once kept a copy of W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's edge for a whole year in high school, because I couldn't bear for it to go back to the school library, probably to never be picked up again (heathens).

When I was young I loved anything extraterrestrial, evil, or supernatural. I read every book our library had on witches, aliens, the lochness monster, ESP, and unexplained phenomena. I once read a reference book, on the history of witches, when I was 7 or 8, it told me that some believed a witch became a witch when she fornicated with the devil. That was a doozie.

I read Uncle Tom's Cabin in the 6th grade. Inappropriate. What in my little 11 year old brain thought that my comprehension was there?

I took a 400 level Russian Literature in Translation class as a freshman in college...for fun. Ha HA.

What is it about books that make me maniacal. The smell (I almost never buy new books, only used, or from the library), the notes and names written in throughout, the sense that your history was written right here in this book, maybe over a hundred years ago (Dr. Zhivago?). It lives, it breathes, it waits patiently for you to come along, and then it opens like a lotus, like a uterus, dilating to deliver a new being to you. It's true, I've found new worlds in paper and ink. I've changed as a person when reading the likes of Ayn Rand. I will probably even bow down to the likes of Judy Bloom in heaven. (She was never really my thing, you know, not much time between conspiracy theories, but 'Are you there God? It's me, Margaret', can help anyone).

Raise your hand if you used to fantasize about those pages at the very end of an old paper back. The ones that told you a price and an address, and the would mail you the newest and best, or the first and the golden of this author, or a similar theme by an author you've never heard of, exciting! I used to yearn to send away to those addresses in New York. Many of my books were published long, long before my coming to this earth though, but, I wondered what would happen if I sent that form off. Was there anyone still there? Were they still selling copies of Ray Bradbury serials? Would someone in a dark, beautiful, old corner, send me spiralling into a beautiful mystery by sending me an ancient Neverending Story?

When one needs to escape from reality, the book is always waiting. I took advantage at a much too delicate age. I am Captain Ahab now, and I will never be satiated with the smell of the sea!!!!(of books)!!!!!

I named my son Royce SOMERSET Lyons.

Thank you,  Brother Maugham. Thank You.

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