Part 3: Don’t Tell Me What to Read!
October 4, 2009
V2 had consulted librarians for help. As with me, it took her a while to explain exactly what she wanted. Although librarians at the system where I worked are very polite and very helpful, I suspect eyebrows crept up. I on the other hand, not being a normal person, not being married to a normal person, not being the father of a normal person, not being the grandfather of a normal person, or for that matter not having any relatives who could be remotely described as “normal,” am quite good at keeping my eyebrows way down when peculiar people convey eccentric requests to me.
At some point, after trying to help her, librarians would inevitably ask her some variation of, “Have you considered reading something else besides memoirs?” I know nothing about V2’s food tastes (which are probably perfectly normal), but this was something like asking a vampire (which I am pretty sure she is probably not) “Have you considered any source of sustenance besides drinking blood?”
[If I ever meet a REAL vampire, on the other hand, I will probably suggest they read the splendid novel Some of Your Blood by the great science fiction writer, Theodore Sturgeon.]
Anyway, I began to find books for V2 and suggest some search strategies for discovering the kind of material she likes. I never once suggested she consider reading anything different than what she likes to read, and as a result she sort of fell in love with me, platonically. She seemed to have enough money to live on and to buy books, though she did not strike me as wealthy but she never said anything indicating she had a job. She never said anything to indicate she had a significant other in her life; I asked no questions. Once, when we were talking about a book she dropped some hints about being an alcoholic at one time and going through a recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. I asked no questions as she seemed to be functioning fine.
Although I never made any comments about the sensationalism of her reading matter, she started to sound a little embarrassed about it. At one point, she indicated that she had stopped reading the most gruesome and morbid memoirs she came across. Perhaps she was growing up a little bit. I am 65 and still growing up.