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"To Be Read"

Notes on a catch
by waywenoc
June 15, 2004
Ahh, the thrill of the catch! And it was a fresh one, too. The Starbucks was crowded today, so serendipity lead me away from my usual perch at the corner window to the smaller counter on the Columbia Street side. I was busy juggling my soy latte (no decaf for me today!) and fruit bar to notice it until I sat down.

It was perfect, sitting quietly , almost unobtrusively, yet with the distinctive yellow flash of a sticky note and - yes! an actual BX bookmark. Very fine quality, that. Lifting the front cover I noticed goatgrrl's characteristic mark - a pre-printed label, with the BX logo coloured in blue.
It wasn't a young'un - the yellowed pages gave that away. But it had been obviously well cared-for. No one had broken its spine, there was no hint of mildew, and only a few dog ears attested that it had indeed been leafed through.

I turned the pages and started to read. "We're impervious, we scintillate, we are thirteen." I am hooked, caught by my catch. Who could stop at a sentence like that?

I read further. "Cordelia in an iron lung then, being breathed, as an accordion is played." I have read these words before...before the accident. I do not remember where or when, or whose book it was. There are blessings to memory loss. I can pick up a book that I know I have read, and it is always fresh and new to me.

It is like that movie that I watched during my recovery. I watched it over and over again, until I could make sense of it, and the sense it made for me of how it is to not remember. I couldn't read books then, not all at once or in any linear order. But it was comforting to think that I could one day.

And I think now of that book I read - bits of it - front , back and middle, until I could read chapters and know they were all of a piece, until I could read it from start to finish and remember the beginning and understand the end.

The status line says "to be read". But the real wonder is to be able to read. To be able to breathe instead of being breathed.

Thank you, goatgrrl.

(quotes from Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood)

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