Please stop by and wish Pia a Happy Two-Year Bloggiversary. (This is the only acceptable spelling of the word and I plan to have it officially recognized as such by the OED.) Anyway, she reposted her very first blog entry, and it truly is excellent.
It was a Friday. The phone wasn't ringing, or plans had fallen thru, or something. That seemed to be happening slightly more frequently with each month torn off the calendar. It was mid-September and I had just wadded up August and tossed it at the trash can sitting in the corner of the room. I missed. The phone rang. It was Dawn.
I don't remember exactly when I met Dawn. I remember being struck by a splendid piece she had written. About the same time, she had become a fan of my writing. We began corresponding. And later, talking.
"Hello, Doll." We flirted like that, as much as that can be considered flirting. "Whatcha doing?"
"Nothing." I gave my standard, albeit more often than not accurate, answer. "You?"
"Mother's in town. We're getting ready for the shower on Sunday. What are your plans for tonight, Doll?"
"No plans. I think I might go to the bookstore."
"And get what?" Her genuine curiosity came thru in the tone, if not the words.
"I don't know. If you could choose one book to recommend, what would it be?"
She responded with a book and author I'd never heard of, which wasn't at all unusual. Dawn was very well read. I was embarrassed at not having read more. But at the same time, I loved these conversations when we would talk about books and authors. Her voice would come alive. It was as if she were talking about her very hopes and dreams.
From time to time, I would prod her for more information. She had a good grasp of my interests, and was typically a good judge of what I would like, and what I might not. I would ask her what she thought of some book I had heard of but had never read. Trying to get more ideas. More names. More books.
Sometimes she would spout off author after author after book after book. Usually faster than I could jot them down. Some I'd heard of. A very few I'd read. Without telling her, I would always look up online the ones she mentioned, and read about the authors. It was exciting to me, too. I felt like I was learning.
She went on to give me several ideas on this particular Friday. Among them, Capote, whom embarrassingly, I'd never read.
I made a mental note of as many of the names as I could remember. Put on jeans, a polo shirt, and flip-flops. It was still more summer than autumn. I picked up August, wadded it even tighter in my hand, and threw it away. Then hurried downstairs and out into the night.
The nearest decent bookstore was a twenty minute drive. I didn't mind at all. It was good to be out. I spent an hour in the bookstore that night. Among the four books I bought was Breakfast At Tiffany's. I chose to read it first. It was around 1:00 in the morning when I laid down and began to read.
The desire to sleep took over after just a few pages that night. But from the very first line, I was captivated. It was brilliant. Every line, perfect. Every word, so carefully chosen. I could not believe that someone could write so well. It was breathtaking.
When I finished the book the following night, I wished it wasn't over. I wished that he had written a thousand more. I felt inspired.
The only thing I can think to compare it to was when I had read To Have And Have Not, my first Hemingway. I would say it even surpassed that, except that it feels like blasphemy to say such a thing.
"You'll say the world has come between us. Our lives have come between us. But I know you just don't care..."