Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thoughts thought during the walk to and from the train

I try not to think about the books I will never read.  I don’t worry about the afterlife because I don't think there is one, or that any afterlife that there is exists beyond the reaches of my imagination.  It requires me to set aside my vanity to say that, mind you, because I can imagine many impossible things.  I can draw thoughts, impressions and sensations so precisely and intimately that I can taste the salt of an unknown lover’s skin and grasp his hair in my fingers.  But any afterlife that I can imagine leaves me a little sad.  The life of the mind, the only religion worth practicing, lets you down in the end, as all religions do.  A palace of ten thousand virgins?  You are welcome to it, sweetie.  If you have ever broken in a virgin, you don’t need to do it again.  Just please, let there be  paté, crusty bread, salty butter, red wine, mussels, goat cheese, tomatoes, eggs, apples, olives, strawberries, chocolate and whiskey.

My best hope is that heaven is a better version of earth.  Please let me read.

Let me have my blue wool scarf, to wrap around my neck on the infinite cool, sunny days.

Let me take infinite walks on infinite, pretty, city streets,
Let me watch infinite birds,
Let me ride infinite trains,
Let me walk to the infinite library and read infinite books,
Let me drink infinite coffee, with milk,
Let me be an infinite reader,
Let me be an infinite lover.

The last one is tricky, I admit.  Is it me, or us, or the act that is infinite?  How do infinite things make love?  Carefully.  Or, the infinite things are always copulating or always chaste, one or the other, I can’t decide which, but experience tells me that the afterlife will be unfair, too.  Let me be an infinite female.  I have no interest in knowing what it is to be male. I have watched the species for 40 years.  It looks terribly boring.

But the books I will never read.  That is a difficult fact to face.  Bibliophilia is a weak swat at mortality.  The books I will never read are the minds I will never meet and engage, the ideas and the language that will never challenge, frustrate, amuse, puzzle, arouse or delight me.

When I die, bury me in my filthiest lingerie with my library cards and my blue wool scarf.  They will know where to send me.

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