I'm back... and today's post won't be like the others. I'd like to say that I took off to join the traveling circus...or set out to discover myself, but the reality is that I had a moment of "what the hell am I doing here-itis"...plain and simple.
It all started a couple weeks ago when my husband decided to read a book. I am a librarian. Married to a man who doesn't like to read. They say opposites attract...and he more than makes up for it in all other areas of our life together so I can forgive him this one transgression. Funny enough...when I think back on it...it wasn't one of the questions that came up during our courtship. I was too busy falling in love with everything about him to stop and ask him if he ever read a book....ever. It wasn't a high priority at the time. I just assumed everyone did. I thought that everyone loved to read as much as me. I was wrong. I chose someone who doesn't even like to read the captions under pictures in People magazine. He makes up his own captions....says it's more fun that way. I'm sure it is. He's one funny guy so I bet his version is better.
When the Da Vinci Code came out he asked me to read it to him. I tried. He fell asleep right after I said, "Once upon a time..."-- not even in the book, but I was testing him to see if he was listening...he wasn't. His philosophy about reading is that he would rather do something himself and be active than read about someone else doing the same thing. It's just he way he's wired and I personally find it charming and wouldn't change him for anything.
So...nobody was more surprised than me when he told me that he wanted to read a book. I was so excited that I grabbed the car keys and took off in a flurry down the street to the nearest bookstore. I ran through the double doors...took a moment to smell that unmistakable scent of books and coffee and then headed for the information desk. The clerk asked if he could help me and I stared blankly at him. In my excitement and shock I had forgotten to ask my husband exactly which book it was he was interested in reading.
I called him.
Me: "What was the name of the book you wanted?"
Him: "Where'd you go?"
Me: "Heaven on Earth for book lovers... Now what was the name of the book you wanted?"
Him: "I can't remember...I think it has the word alone in it...and I think the author's first name was William or Billy or something like that. ---pause --- Where are you?"
Me: " At the bookstore...and I gotta go...this could take all night. Do you know how many books there are with the word alone in them?"
Him: "No...I don't read...remember?"
Me: "Gotta go...four million hits just came up in the search engine and I have to weed through them...see you in a couple days."
Him: "Take your time."
The bookseller helping me happened to be a criminal justice major in school. I was looking for a true crime book. It was right up his alley. We found the book in record time. So fast that he hung around disappointed in the fact that our search ended so soon. He began to pull book after book off the shelf and hand them to me. Some of the titles were along the likes of, Bone Alley, Skeleton Farm, Backyard Full of Bones, How Well do You Know Your Neighbors, The Killer Next Door, He's In Your Closet, Creepy People and How to Deal With them Successfully....you get the gist.
Well, many years ago I read a few books like that. Helter Skelter, In Cold Blood and The Stranger Beside Me to be exact. They scared me half to death and I swore I wouldn't read anything like that again. I wanted to live in a happy place, a pretty world, and a fun world, filled with laughter and joy. The book my husband was interested in reading was by Billy Queen. It's about the years the author spent as an undercover agent trying to break up the Mongol Biker Gang in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. A friend who is a detective with the LAPD recommended it.
The store clerk had a stack of books piled up for me, and the pile was growing by the minute. I chose one off the top and flipped through it. I wanted him to know how much I appreciated his enthusiasm so I started to read an excerpt from the book in my hand. Unfortunately the book was about the BTK killer. The part I opened up to involved a family. Needless to say, I wanted so badly to read that this guy didn't really kill two innocent children and their parents in the house he had invaded early one morning. He did. It was brutal and disgusting. It made me sick. I stood in that book aisle with tears in my eyes and sadness for that family. It also reminded me that there are some people in this world who aren't so nice or mentally fit. It made me question blogging. I started to think about why I was doing it. My intention from the start has been to help me with my writing skills. I am in the midst of writing a book and this blog was a place to try out my writing...to see if anyone liked my style...to make people smile and to attempt to bring a sunnier side of life to those who chose to visit my little blogging corner of the world. I stepped away for a bit to gain perspective.
My perspective is that I have met nothing but nice people in the blogging community. People who encourage and say kind things to each other...people who care about each other...people who are good.
As for my husband...he finished the book in two days....didn't run off to join a biker gang, or ask me to start calling him "Danger" or " Evil" or "Bad Bart" or anything else...and hasn't asked for another book.
Next time I go to the bookstore I'm heading for the Fairy Tale section and choosing a "Once Upon a Time" story...they always have a happy ending.