Monday, March 23, 2015

200 on…Diehards and Bookabilia

We diehards, we "I'll never read on a screen-ers,” are reading on screens: on iPhones, iPads, tablets, Kindles, Nooks: Dostoyevsky consumed on an 8” x 5” screen…in Tahoma 12pt. Poe’s Conqueror Worm scrolling down a “Hello Kitty” iPhone. 

We’re reading in the spaces in which we wait, tired magazines discarded in the recycling: we wait for medical procedures hunched over, isolated and intent, thumbs turning virtual pages, tapping links that seduce us down alleys from which we cannot find our way home.

(The cloth primer, read and soaped in the tub—our first book (My very own book!?)—moves from the supermarket shelf to the kitschy “yester year” store. We’re nostalgic, rubbing our fingers over the fabric’s printed words and pictures, remembering the roar of the tiger (“Hear Him Roar!”), the yap of the little dog in the shop window (“Woof, Woof!”). Our children wait in the backs of our cars reading Animé on impossibly thin tablets.) 

Our paraphernalia finds its way to Goodwill, to Etsy stores specializing in vintage for we have no need for bookends, for leatherette bookmarks, for the mid-century bookcase. We need earphones, links to virtual libraries, charging stations, apps, an account with iTunes. 

Diehards. Readers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

200 on…Celebrating Ten Years Post Pathways

Fact then Fiction.
 “Peace came slowly if it came at all. Each morning, it hovered on the edges, like hope, as he stumbled his way, trembling and sick, out of bed to the bathroom to stand beneath the shower until the hot water ran tepid, until his morning shakes could be explained away as the result of too much cold water on an old man’s body. He hadn’t deviated from the habit, even after Millicent’s death; it was as if habit held him together. The shower, the keeping down of breakfast and strong coffee settled the shaking into a constant bee-winged vibration behind his rib cage. Peace didn't arrive until he gave in: a glass of wine, beer, cooking didn’t care back then. Today, it was pickier. Today, Dan’s brand of peace demanded a bottle of Bells. What had happened? He had asked himself the question time and time again. What had caused the shift from his being a peaceful two-pint-a-night man to a drunk who couldn’t drive without a bottle of whiskey under the seat?” 

Monday, March 09, 2015

200 on… Math(s) and Walking Bubs

Saturday at Clemmons Lake: In the parking lot, I calculate dogs: 3 pickups: 2 saloon cars. Anglers in trucks bring buckets, hooks, worms, and fast food; they don’t bring dogs. People in saloons bring fast food, kids, and/or dogs. There is a possibility of at least 5 dogs, but more likely only 2.

Bubs is leash-reactive. He panics when restrained. #1 and #2 on the dock, fisherman #3a by the overflow. I can’t separate fishing from the death of fish like I can’t separate Southern Comfort from getting wasted. Woman #1 and Woman #2 plus 3 kids on the playground: 1 concrete turtle, 1 plastic dragon-fly, and 1 metal fish climbing frame. 0 dogs.

I let Bubs wade out. He doesn’t swim, but he likes to wallow. It pisses off the fishermen and I make sure he wades as close to them as possible.

Back at the parking lot, I wrangle him into the car. He’s wily and knows Car + Back Seat = Walk Over. I tempt him with biscuits I do not have. Each time, he forgets I welch on deals. We head out thrifting where Bubs will sleep through 3 Goodwills.

55 on 221 and the car smells like geese, deep water, and stale eggs.

(Photograph from Lynchburg's Discover Lynchburg page.)