So help me, I bought a six pack of Rainier beer this week because that’s what Walt Longmire drinks. And I came home and put it on the counter next to all my brochures for care and maintenance of Oranda goldfish. One of Kawabata’s Palm Of The Hand Stories talks about lion headed goldfish and I have been convinced ever since that I am secretly a goldfish. This was heavily influenced by James Nestor’s book about freedivers. After reading it, I walked around holding my breath for extended periods of time until I realized its not super safe to do this around stairs. I occassionally crave a deep dip in the cool unknown ever since I read Losing Our Cool and convinced my husband we should give up our air conditioner. I remember that day well, it was exactly a year ago, on our anniversary. Happy Anniversary honey, here is to many more 115 degree days we survive in our underpants much to the dismay of our neighbors!
I have been married to The King’s Diddly for 18 years now. It was a marriage kindled in between the pages and fueled on a rabid passion for all things book. It isn’t easy to live in a house ruled by two easily influenced book fiends. While books have led me to lead a double life as a beer swilling goldfish, my dear husband has taken a saner approach and has used books to learn Latin and sculpt a prison physique recommended by Charles Bronson.
Apart from using books as how-to manuals we have achieved a level of suburban notoriety for reading in the yard at all hours and sometimes while doing basic yard work. We read outloud while the other of us drives, creating some interesting spectacles at stop lights when our windows are down. Pretty much every gift we have given each other over the years has been at least 90 percent book. In fact, in our house, “giving a gift” is exactly equivalent to “giving a book”.
Its not all fun and games. We have discovered the seedy territory of a hostile book takeover. I am universally the aggressor who steals the books he is reading, sometimes right out of his hands. We assume the other’s interests and feed each our respective obsessions. And it is quite possible we will never move again.
But at the end of the day, ours is a bookish love, nestled in the stacks. He is my favorite book to read. There are always new pages added. He is my gilt-edged, leather bound special edition and I’ll never need another.
Once upon a time, he gave me his favorite book to read and I have loved him ever since.