How Can a Bookstore Make Your Heart Ache?

Nov 1, 2010 by

How Can a Bookstore Make Your Heart Ache?

I’d had a trip to a bookstore planned, and John suddenly decided he wanted to accompany me. In the old days I would have been thrilled. A little trip out could have wound up in a surprise intimate dinner, a hike up a little secluded ridge, almost anything. But this request made my chest feel tight. To heck with it. I shook it off. It was a good sign that John wanted to get away from the house for a bit. Maybe we were edging a little closer to normal normal.We made it to the store incident free. All right, I thought. This is good. This is sweet. John’s movements weren’t exactly fluid (he’d had some trouble getting into the car), but he was good enough for a bookstore. I stayed alongside him, though, not freewheeling through the place as I once would have. John suddenly stopped in front of one particular section sign. He looked at it for a moment or two, then back to me.“What is fiction?” he asked, genuinely puzzled. “What does that mean?”I felt the question register in my eyes, in the muscles of my face. “Fiction is stories, hon. Not actual stories, but made up.”He held a book of fiction (to this day I think I refuse to remember the author or title) in his hand and looked at it like it was some arcane object. Eventually, I took it from him and placed it back on the shelf. I didn’t realize he was looking at my face the entire time.He said, “I’m sorry you’re sad.”And, of course, I was. I could tell by the expression on his face that he could pair that emotion with the look on my face, but didn’t really know what it meant, and couldn’t feel that sensation himself.I’m never surprised that I learn a thing or two in a bookstore. But this time it was learned not by words read in a book, but by two faces being read by two now very different people.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this post  by sharing a comment below. if you enjoyed the post, please share it by using one of the sharing links on the page.

©2010 Catherine Graves

read more

Lasagna, the Weapon of Love

Sep 18, 2010 by

Lasagna, the Weapon of Love

Though it may seem an impossible stretch of the imagination for some people, there is such a thing as too much lasagna.The parents of Alex and Caroline’s schoolmates coordinated efforts like a suburban culinary drill team and delivered dinner to the house every night for a year. There was always lasagna, created in nearly every imaginable permutation, in the freezer and the fridge. I don’t remember ever encountering one made of fruit, but that may just be a willful memory lapse on my part. It was a remarkable thing, the purest kind of love people are capable of. But after the events of the coming year were over and gone, neither the kids nor I ever desired another close encounter of the lasagna kind. That pastalogical block is true to this day. (Thank you, though, dear friends, and apologies to Italy and Italian chefs everywhere.)

Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this post  by sharing a comment below. if you enjoyed the post, please share it by using one of the sharing links on the page.

©2010 Catherine Graves

read more