Friday, November 17, 2006

Wish List

My son ... my wonderful asked me to send him some good books. That's almost calculated to fill me with pride and wonder. Is he trying to stay in my will? Such a wonderful son, I have. Wants me to send him just whatever I thought he'd like. Good books. Well.

So I just sent him Billiards at Half-Past Nine. Boll. Superb. And The Brothers Karamazov. I read both of these when I was about his age, and they absolutely blew me away. Then I thought, these are kind of dense. Something light and beautiful? The Martian Chronicles. Don't remember if he read it or not, but he can always give it to a friend. Then I thought, non-fiction. So I sent him Made in America, by Bill Bryson. One of the most fascinating books I have ever read.

That should hold him for a while.

Then I thought, hey, let's see what I have on my Amazon "wish list" -- a sort of holding pen for books I may never buy -- I usually get what I'm immediately interested in. But if I start researching some subject, I'll have a list that's a good starting point. Some I'd read for other people. No, it is nothing like complete.

I was filled with longing. It reminded me of being a child, and waiting for Christmas. And wanting to read every book in the library. Remember?

I'm such a fascinating character, I bet you'd love to see it. It's just that I'm a private guy, and this feels sort of personal. Like it's my secret wish list. It's not secret. But it is, somehow, personal. It's like watching someone learn how to dance. They don't have it, yet. They're vulnerable. And I learned very many years ago not to let anyone know what I wanted. I wasn't raised in a sane place, you see.

Okay. Here. But don't laugh at me. And I don't want your charity. I can buy my own damn books.

Some of these books -- say, on ancient chronology -- have simply wrong conclusions, but good information. Some are just authoritative -- like Bugliosi's book on the JFK assassination -- if he ever finishes it. I've never read a book on the subject, and have no patience for crap. So I want the one I do read to be excellent. I stood in line behind Bugliosi a few months ago at Trader Joe's. He's getting old.

Yes, I have an interest in health. It's about optimal functioning. I joke about it, but there is the side benefit of not showing the usual signs of deterioration. That's because I'm deteriorating more slowly than most. Because I have an interest in health. Get it?

Running, strength, effective martial arts. Apparently I'd rather wear out than rust out.

I wrote a book on evolution. And a couple on ancient chronology. And a few others.

Fiction? I have a right to indulge myself in operatic science fiction, and grim hack noir tales -- some of them are so badly written they're barely legible.


If you met me, you wouldn't recognize me. Yes, I look like I look, but I don't act like I sound. And you almost certainly wouldn't like me. Some people are easy to get to know. I wonder what that's like.


I read too much as a kid. It was as bad a vice as drugs. A way of escaping. A way of not being where I was. The problem with entertainments is that fiction is not the way the world really is. Entertainment is not an experience. And emotional growth stops when addictions start. That's their purpose -- a way of not dealing with things that need to be dealt with. It's understandable. Even necessary, perhaps.

You've heard of multiple personalities. Very rare, and dramatic cases generally occurring only in people with very high intelligence. One case goes like this: a little girl would be raped on a regular basis by her father. She'd stare at the ceiling, at a little spot on the ceiling, and tell herself, I'm not here. I'm in that little spot. And doing this protected her. That's how it started. Of course these things take on a life of their own. As it were.


There is nothing ... there is nothing ... anything that you could ever conceive, in the most desperate extremity of your imaginings, that is possible, has already been done by someone to somebody else.


What are you looking at?



Ms.Green said...


I've been lurking around your blog now for months, and I just wanted to say you are one of my favorites. Quirky, different, not always one I agree with, but of my favorites.

Just wanted you to know.

Jack H said...