Thursday, June 21, 2012

That was the summer Dill came to us.

Influential Books in the Gleemonex History and the Lessons Learned Therefrom by Young Gleemonex: A Partial List

--Something or other by Andy Rooney: Can't remember exactly which one, but it was an early/mid-80s paperback with his doleful face on the cover. Found at my grandmother's house, devoured over the course of a couple of days one hot summer, age 10 or 11. Lesson learned: Being a crusty old bastard is funny. I should get on that. [NB: and so I did.]

--Sweet Valley High: Entire series, read during fifth and sixth grade ... possibly as late as seventh? Surely not. But maybe. Anyway. Lesson learned: HIGH SCHOOL: UR NOT DOIN IT RITE. [Side note, though: This one friend had Barbies, and what we did was, re-enact all the Sweet Valley High books with the dolls. Only sometimes -- well, OK, every time -- there was an off-script tragedy that generally wiped out the population of SVH (fires, killer bees, tornados that sent Jessica & Elizabeth up over the fence and into the neighbors' pool where -- tragically -- they drowned, giant Rottweiler attack that ended the promgoing hopes of Enid Rollins, etc.). Good times!]

--The bible: Omnipresent in many versions in my house growing up. Particular fave was a very seventish illustrated maverick version broughten by the Jehovah's Witnesses, featuring a multi-culti array of 'luded out -looking US 1970s humans going about their business in the company of various tame/'luded wild animals, or something. I was five, fuck off. Anyway. Carried a real bible around in jr high and HS, as a good member of the Methodist Youth Fellowship, and enjoyed the language (shout out to KJV y'all!), but really had no clue and therefore asked no real questions. Lesson learned: You get a pass for a lot of shit if you can find a bible quote to back yourself up. 

--The Golden Ass: By a person (people?) called Apuleius. First semester of college, Literature Humanities. Lesson learned: The bible is TOTAL BUNKUM. 

--In Cold Blood: Another hot-summer junior high find, read in its entirety in one afternoon/night/early morning. Lesson learned: Psychopaths! With shotguns! Murdering families for no good goddamn reason! World is scary place! You are in danger -- especially sleeping peacefully in your own house! You will never really have a night's totally secure sleep ever again in your life. 

--Sex Tips for Girls: Cynthia Heimel -- awesome freshman year of college discovery at the university bookstore. Went a huge long way toward helping me overcome my anti-sex (or rather, anti-enjoyment-of-sex-because-it's-dirty-and-awful, so-sayeth-the-LORD) conditioning. Will forever be grateful to Ms. Heimel. Lesson learned: People are supposed to fuck. [NB: That's actually a direct quote.]

--To Kill a Mockingbird: Read to me and my siblings by my dad. I was around nine, I think. Lesson learned: You must write. 

--A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: No, there's no post I can't mention this book in. Read it for the first of a hundred times during grad school. Lesson learned: Stop writing, just don't bother -- you'll never ever be this good. 

--The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing: Loaner from a friend at first real job -- was a bestseller at the time. Ninety minutes I'll never get back. Lesson learned: Oh get over yourself and start writing again. You can do better than THIS. 

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