two stories

July 22, 2011

tonight, i sat down with my nephew after dinner in one of the swivel glider rockers i love so well with one of the books, small saul, that i'd given mom for mother's day. usually when bambam is sitting with someone with a book, he wants to do the so-called reading of it. what this means is that he turns the pages back and forth and points out one of many objects on one page, then goes back to turning the pages again. and he is babbling all the while. babbling because he is so animated, so happy inside the realm of his imagination which has been stirred by that one object on that one page that he is content there. your turning the pages and reading to him the words printed on that paper? this disrupts that contentedness. a lot. and he will swat at your hands and yank the book from your grasp and snap at you.
i read it! i do it!

it's rare when he actually appreciates having someone read to him. so rare that i cannot recall more than a handful of times during which i've actually been able to read more than five consecutive pages to him in any one sitting.

tonight's reading began like it always does.

but eventually, maybe a third of the way through the book, he ceased with his fidgeting and his babbling and his attempts to yank the book from my hands and listened. he was totally absorbed.


maybe because he hadn't had a nap today. maybe because he was working on a number two.

maybe because we were reading about pirates. who knows.

but at the end of it, when we got to the last page, and i'd read the last word, he said two things:

the end.


i like that story.

and that's the first time i've ever heard him say that about a book. ever.

we started to read dirtball pete, which is also a pretty cute book.

but my father had to pull out his newly acquired ipad. and my nephew associates this thing with angry birds. and pete and i lost him.

different, not less

July 12, 2011

this morning, i found a book at barnes & noble booksellers called please stop laughing at me. 

my mother's talked upon occasion about writing a book with me about my experiences. we'd take turns, each writing a chapter of our perspectives of a certain period or event.

the trouble is, i don't remember my childhood well enough to write about it.

i remember feelings. i remember them better when i see people from my past. i know that i had little interest in life. but if you were to ask me to describe a day to you in detail, i couldn't do it. i've blocked a lot of it, i think.

i get flashes. solitary walks. playing games by myself. torment. flashes. and that's enough for me. i don't want to remember much else.

the author of this book, though, she'd remembered her childhood well enough to write about it. when i'd first started skimming it, i'd thought, thank god my life wasn't this bad. thank god i'd never been invited to parties so i'd never had to call my mother to come get me because it was so horrible.

but of course, then i remembered one from fifth grade. i didn't call my mother. i just left. walked home.

i was never physically attacked. thank god. my peers never thought enough of me to beat on me.

not with their hands. they used words instead. and my subconscious has a great book filled with them.

i was never in the position where i had to choose between two friends because one couldn't handle my  liking the other.

oh, but my friends, the few i had ... they were. and they chose the others over me.

i put the book away. didn't want to read it. couldn't.

i don't want to remember anymore than i do.

and i went on about my day.

at dinner, my father found a story about a woman named temple grandin.

this would be one of those few instances where he succeeded in choosing good cinema.

temple is autistic. and she is treated horribly by her peers because of it. treated by her peers as though she is less because of it. she is moved from one school to another to another until her mother meets a teacher who is marveled by temple's mind. the teacher encourages ms. grandin to enroll her daughter. she finds an ally. she finds a future.

there is so much about this movie, about this story that astounds. claire danes is incredible. julia ormond, catherine o'hara and david strathairn are amazing. it's a really, really good story. it won emmys and golden globes and a whole bunch of other things.

this woman, she's pretty nifty.

and i wish i'd had a tenth of her courage and tenacity.

this is the pad i would like to have

July 7, 2011