Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Slowly But Surely

When I moved to Boston a few years ago, I left my full collection of books at my parents' house, electing to bring select volumes and sending for more as I needed them.  Every time I go home or have a visitor from home, I bring (or ask them to bring) at least 10 books. I know I'm going to box them up and send them to my Boston address via media mail one day, but I'm holding off because this way is more fun.

Last week, I called my little brother to see if he could put together a stack for a friend of mine to pack.  I e-mailed him a list, which he promptly ignored, and when I got him on the phone it was only because he was avoiding his homework.  I had him go through a few shelves, reading aloud title after title, asking him who wrote what.  We reached San Francisco Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and I asked him to pop it open and read a random poem to see if I wanted him to send it along.  After sighing repeatedly, he started reading "The Great Chinese Dragon" in a very inspired fashion. Halfway through, I asked him if he knew what it was about. "Dragons taking over Chinatown, and then people telling the dragons they can't take over Chinatown and stuffing them in basements" was his reply.  I told him what I thought it was about and debated, somehow managing to draw my sister in and starting a three-person argument about poetry, ending with my brother threatening to do his homework.

I asked for the next title. "You suck." my brother said.  I was aghast. " Christopher Moore."

Media mail can wait, I'm having too much fun with this.

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