Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I see you've noticed my books.

Oh yes, a little hobby of mine. You might even say it's grown into a passion. At first it was just, hello, what am I going to do with all these empty shelves? When I bought the stupid condo in the first place, they sold me on those shelves, really they did. Something about a tabula rasa, a gradual accrual, who can remember now, it's been two years for mercy's sake. Suffice it to say I had real hopes for my shelves in the beginning, but after a few months all I'd put up there were some unpacked boxes and a half-read copy of The Help . Languishing, really.

Well! They started to eat at me, these shelves, just nipping away at my psyche. My God, I would say to myself, I mean, look at the things, you could park a city bus in there! I tell you, it must have been some sort of divine kismet when I heard Delilah simply gushing about this fellow she'd hired for her place in the Vineyard, about how she felt energized to be in her space, really living in it, I think is what she said.

So I thought to myself, oh what's the harm in bringing this contractor or specialist or what have you over to see my shelves at least for a consultation. He wasn't asking all that much just to take a look at the dear things, and anyway, I thought, I might be able to pick up some pointers on the cheap. And I tell you, Diane, after half an hour he had changed my entire way of looking at, you know, not just the shelves but the whole condo, what a home meant to me and about me! "These things are a void," he said, which I thought was a little heavy-handed but still I could see where he was coming from. And he said, "But I've got a solution. A book solution!"

That was it, my darling, I was sold on this thing, this whole concept, this slippery slope that I've spiraled into, haha. Pretty soon it was vellum this and anachronistic typeface that, and I was finding myself at places I would have never dreamed I would be setting foot in just a month earlier: rare book auctions, estate sales...he must have dragged me to at least thirty Goodwill stores in April alone, if you can believe that!

There was method to the madness, of course, and he must have explained the whole thing to me fifty times, but again it's a bit hazy. I recall the phrase "welcoming me into my aesthetic comfort zone," and that he kept mentioning Basquiat. The whole thing is based on the map gallery at the Vatican, I remember that much. It's very subtle though, most people can't tell.

I mean, of course I read the things. That is to say, well, some of them are so ancient that they'd just turn to dust in my hands if I so much as thumb through the pages, so I leave those alone, and all those old Russian masterpieces he bought, I don't know, when I think of those miserable winters and all that heavy cream I start to feel dizzy. Oh and I got rid of The Help, too. He made a face when I showed him that one.

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