Candy Cane Curse

November 29th; I had a beautiful post, about today.

When you read my post today, read it as if Taylor Mali were reading it.

It took me a total of too many hours, and I started on it when I directly got home and I’m just going to finish it, even though it won’t make much sense and I’m just very angry it was erased….it was so much, I can’t even give it a name.

Here are pictures that went in that one… :[

top // bottom

I left Presence of Mind with a little candy cane that I love so much,

insert childhood memories and gym teacher who made bookmarks in her spare time.

with old cat ladies on them, that said things like good job and were depressing but at the same time funny and happy.

I had a story about my burning fury for the book I was going to read, but a fire inside burned out when that post went away too.

Well, I’ll try to make this as minimally embittered as I can.

I walked into Powell’s with the candy cane in mouth and Citizen Vince in mind.

Fuck this is some bad writing, nothing you guys aren’t used to from me.

So, I walk in and go directly to a search, Search; Citizen Vince.

My favorite book, the Zero was written by Jess Walters and this book was his prized book, his acknowledged and awarded book. It’s hard for me to believe that there can be a more pitch perfect, beautiful piece of writing than The Zero but I went to isle 307 to check it out. In the “tambor room.” (which is in fact the Eastern wall) where all the graphic novels and mystery novels are kept. Ladies Detective Agency Gaiman  galore! I walk over, big fat copy next to a another Walters I care nothing about.

I grab it and it’s page-full girth flops from side to side. I look at the cover and am deterred by the unappealing picture,

That’s right I judge books by their covers.  So what!

So that was obnoxious…anyways. I start to flip through it and the pages are all big in my mind

I don’t know why I just wrote that last passage but I’m keeping it.

Anyways, I start to read through it, but down the things I talked about in my last blog, it pains me to say you know nothing about, I skillfully weaved this bag and the candy cane into a story with a witty and revealing ending, an ending that we’d all be in on but now the jokes on me. I’m the only one on the inside of this joke and it hurts my heart a little bit. A lot.

So I read the first pages of this book and one of the Powell’s employees looks at me. I feel like he sees me as one of those, come for the free browse and warm environment people. Like a virtual book store hobo. I come for the cafe, stay for the comfy chair, leave with nothing.

HEY BUDDY ! I’m buying and this twenty’s burning a hole in my pocket.

I try to love the book, but my options are open. I go to the search, look up Chabon.

Right there, right in the middle row, practically the center of the store, popping out at you with it’s stacks of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and the little recommendation tab and it’s Pulitzer prize bage shining in it’s Golden light. The cover deters me. I put down the bag in a perfect little crevice between shelves, perfect even though it’s too fat and too wide, perfect because it was made for me, made for me to put my bag there. I continue reading Citizen Vince, which I brought over with me. I don’t feel the same spark as I did with the Zero, but I didn’t feel the spark at first with that book either, it took me a little bit of time and walking around Costco deciding if I wanted and finally deciding yes, making one of the best decisions of my life.

Then again, the book opened with the protagonist shooting himself in the head. What did this open with?

Definitely not that. I come to the conclusion that this book, it is not his masterpiece, not his Starry Night but was in fact a best seller because Jess could write better than the average mystery writer, but it wasn’t his masterpiece.

I get to the round part of the candy cane and make the decision after a lot of thought, to dedicate myself to finishing it and taking it out of it’s wrapper. There’s no slipping this baby cane into the wrapper again and letting it sit safely in my pocket. Not making anything sticky, waiting for me to open it up again. I cut the wrapper loose, and have to use both hands. I put it in my mouth in that perfect U that nestles on your tongue, like it was made to fit your mouth. But you know it wasn’t because once you try to speak you sound like an idiot, not to mention the spit.

I go to put the Jess Walters book, pick up my bag. Walk across the store to the Tambor room, put it back.

When I walk back, to my surprise there’s a man who is standing there, (already!) He is a late thirties to fourties, gray stubble, I think. He has that thick rain coat that all adults in Portland have, the one that is a mis of a dull gray and a bright color like green or turquoise. I reach over the back of him  to the  stand with the Chabon book.  I say excuse me, there are a lot of excuse me’s in the little store, but never any “Hey, bitch!”es, i like that. I set my bag down in it’s place, and start to read the back of the book. It’s really dense and I can barely read it. I already read the recommendation but I’m on the fence.

The man turns to me and says “I definitely recommend that one.” his conviction has won me over.

I open my mouth to say something but that candy cane, I can’t say anything and I feel that if I open my mouth it’s going to spit right out at him. Before I open my mouth again this guy is walking briskly down the aisle, I want to say something, but I open my mouth to see if I can do something about this candy cane…he’s all the way over there now. I reach in my mouth to take the cane out shiny with my saliva, a little string follows it. I want to ask him so many things.

“Why, why do you recomend this and what gave you the strong conviction in your voice? Have you read any of his other books, because I’ve read Werewolves in their Youths which is a great story but the others aren’t too good. How long did it take you to read this book, does it go by faster because it’s a good read?

As I’m left standing there I let out a little “Wait..”

I see him talking to his wife and I don’t want to bother him.

It’s these kinds of people, this kind of city and environment, where a perfect stranger will recommend the book you’re holding, that’s Portland. I love it.

I feel like he got the impression I didn’t appreciate him, I was just one of those senseless teenagers who only reads literature that is assigned to them. I want to say, I hate them too.

As I’m looking at this book I see a woman, who hasn’t really been in any story, not sucked into a book but into the store, her son, late teens, early twenties doesn’t want to be there. He is hopping from side to side, doesn’t care at all and she’s pointing at all the shelves, hopping from isle to isle in a sort of ignorant dance, that says to the world, says to Powell’s; “I am a stranger to this place.”

She says “See, this is what I’m talking about, these little notes, these little recommendations.  These are so, I mean” she point at one of them, directly next to the Chabon section

“people know about John Quixote, but it’s still nice.” she nods her head.

Her brother still with that meandering hop, impatiently waiting the moment she says they’re leaving says,

“Yeah, it’s definitely better than like, Borders or something.” I see you had to search your brain for that one junior.

Everyone in Powell’s can spot them. Why did you come to this Powell’s? I keep asking myself this because they’re bothering my reading Nirvana, go to the City of Books where you can expect tourist galore. But not our quite little Hawthorne-excuse-me sir, I-recommend-this-book-Powell’s.

Fucking Tourists.

So I bought the Chabon book and also Naked Lunch, which I’ve always wanted to read.

I figured that style was probably more present in that book. Also, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay I realzied I didn’t even read before buying. That’s okay though. When we walked back to the car a feeling that was so great came over me and I was so happy to have bought the books, there is no joy from buying anything that compares to the joy of buying a new book. I think it’s the single greatest thing you can spend your money on, and I always feel really good after having bought one.

I grabbed a Willamette Weekly and asked mom if she wanted to head over to Freddie’s to buy the wonderful organic milk we only drink, she said no money. I doubted she didn’t have four dollars but felt increasingly worse about the perfect photo album she bought me.

Note to myself; Bucky balls, Omar,, photo album, used to be Gregg’s, Mr. Fox, reading and others.

That’s all the wonderful stuff you missed out on.

Went home and wrapped Angela’s baby things. The Simpsons was on, which makes everyday perfect.

P.S. The tree is up.

One Response to “Candy Cane Curse”
  1. Enoezam says:

    I’m glad you stuck it out and finished. I’m content reading this part. I can only imagine how awesome the first part was.

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