Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Better Late Than Never?

Last week I went for escargot and Kir royales with Mike and Erik and I returned a book to Mike that I've had for 27 years. It is a hardback first edition of Hotel New Hampshire. I know at first I kept it because I liked it. Then I probably kept it because I moved around a lot and always forgot about it. Then I kept it because I wanted to and figured he forgot about it. Then we moved and I found it again and thought, oh well. I probably only read it once in the 80's anyway, then the movie ruined it for me. Many years ago Mike lost virtually everything he owned - the story is best told by him - he had more books, and records, and expensive clothes than anyone I knew. So he started over, and again his house is full of books. It was our goal to read EVERYTHING. At one time he had money and now he has so little but he and Erik have a motto: just buy the book. Giving someone back a book he thought was lost with everything else, giving it back to someone who loves books - I felt guilty for keeping it so long, but my heart hurt more to see the joy it brought. Then he opened the book, which I hadn't done, and pressed inside was a boutoniere from some long ago school dance.

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