I keep lists. I keep a list of
New York Times book reviews which were so interesting that I must have the
book. I keep a list of books mentioned in footnotes. I keep a list of books
people mention in an off-hand way so as to make the book sound essential.
I keep a list of books I find in bookstores when I don't have the money
to buy them. I keep lists of books that will be good to read when I want
to become an expert on something. I also keep a list of books I should read,
because they have left such a huge impact on the development of western
literature that they will definitely help me to understand myself. Sylvia
Plath is the last remaining woman I have on this list.
She's been on the list since the day my mom told me Sylvia Plath killed
My mom didn't know how Sylvia killed herself, but Mom told me The Bell Jar
is Sylvia's autobiography.
Ten years later, I decide it's time.
The Bell Jar becoms more like a book on my expert list than a book on my
should-read list, because I ended up reading all her poems and then embarked
on a pile of her biographers.
"Andy," I say one night, "she went into a mental hospital
at the same age I did."
"Andy," I say one night, "she killed herself right after
her husband left her for another woman."
"You are not Sylvia Plath," he tells me. "Get comfortable
with that instead of thinking up reasons to fall apart again."
"I am comfortable with that," I tell him.
I close my Sylvia Plath book, and lie back, under the sheets, close enough
to Andy to feel warm and far enough so I can rest my arms at my sides. I
want just a little more time. So when Andy falls asleep, I creep out of
bed and read another hundred pages in the livingroom.
Christmas | Hebrew School
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