Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He Brought Me The Book

Yo La Tengo--"Nothing To Hide" (mp3)
The Feelies--"The High Road" (mp3)

He brought me the book. “Here you go,” he said. “I read it.”

I nodded. I waited. Finally, “What did you think?”

“I think you should read it,” he said.

“I have read it.”

“I think you should read it again. I’m not sure you know what it says.”

“I wrote it,” I said.

“No matter.”

“Well, it has to matter some. I mean, I did write it after all.”

“I think it’s changed since you wrote it.”

“How is that possible?”

“It’s entirely possible. You’ve changed since you wrote it.”

“Did you change it?”


I picked it up and looked at it. Flipping through the pages, I couldn't really tell if it looked as it should. “Did someone else change it?”


“No one changed it.”

“Didn’t have to.”

I was starting to get a little irritated. It had taken me a long time to write it. I knew it like a child. "What do you expect me to discover if I read it again?"

"What do you expect to discover?"

"Thank you for answering a question with a question."

"I think that you wrote the book, but it isn't yours."

"Why not?"

"Once you put the words down on paper, you lost control of them."

"Says you."

"It happens."

"Says you. I know exactly what I want this book to say, what it says."

"Says you. Tell me."

"Tell you what?"

"What do you think it says? What do you want it to say?"

"Well, that's where I'm not willing to go. I put the time in to put the words down to say what I wanted to say, and now I'm not inclined to summarize that."

"You're avoiding."

"You're annoying."

"Says you."

"Well, anyway, I do appreciate you reading it. And though you haven't really said what you think, I guess you've said it by not saying it and by implying that I probably need to resay it."

"That's what I'm here for," he said. And left.

So I sat there. Picked it up. Flipped through it again. But eventually, after hours of holding onto it just for the fact that it was mine, I had to open it as you would, and begin to read it as you did, and when I did that, I discovered that, indeed, another hand had written it and that I didn't know him or the words he used or the story he had to tell. My story.

Yo La Tengo and The Feelies are both available at eMusic.


troutking said...

No comment, just that I'm interested to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Also, I'm guessing this wasn't your cookbook.

The Kentuckian said...

troutking - i second your thought; bob is holding out on us; he's also channeling andre dubus