Surprising Things in My Bedroom–Not for Sex

1. The ice cream scoop. I don’t know why. I suspect the littlest nephew must have brought it up there for some reason the last time he was here stored it in my dresser for his own reasons.

2. A lightning rod. This was my graduation present from my parents when I finished my M.A. It’s awesome and it has two glass lightning rod balls on it, which I keep meaning to make the start of some awesome collection of lightning rod balls, but I don’t know where one even begins to find them. I guess I could start climbing old houses and just stealing them, but I’m afraid of heights. Plus, my lighting rod is full. Where would I keep the extra ones?

3. This awesome clay skull run through with nails and screws and one industrial staple that I got at one of the art fairs over at Centennial Park. My littlest nephew is fascinated by this and he’s all the time asking “What’s that for?” and saying “That’s scary.” And so I explain to him that it’s supposed to be scary enough to frighten the scary things in the dark and he laughs and makes me tell him that every time he comes to visit.

4. All of the old pictures of my dead relatives that my aunt was going to throw away after my grandma died. Well, I guess that’s only surprising to my aunt, who didn’t think anyone would want them.

5. The bones from a Thanksgiving turkey. I don’t know. I thought it’d be cool to have them, but it was a lot of work to boil the flesh off–a lot of work, and my Dad laughed at me the whole time I was doing it–and then I couldn’t think of anything cool to do with them, so they’re just hanging on my closet door, waiting for inspiration to strike.

And one surprising thing NOT in my bedroom.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. This is my favorite book in the world and I was in the mood to read it again this morning after arguing with Taketoshi last night about the relative merits of Calvino versus Beckett.

As you may have guessed by now, gentle reader, I like to instigate people just to hear them go off about things they love and Taketoshi, apparently, really loves Beckett. Now, my experience with Beckett is limited to faking that I was paying attention to a videotaped prisoner production of End Game, pretending to have read Molloy, and skimming through Malone Dies, twice.

I’ve never read, seen, or even been in the same town as a production of Waiting for Godot, but, gentle reader, as is my way, I claimed, basically, that it was crap.

And, Taketoshi unleashed the most glorious torrent of defenses of Waiting for Godot and impugned his students and me for failing to get the beautiful and heartbreaking ways that the play keeps revealing itself to a dedicated audience. It was marvelous to watch.

Still, I like Calvino better, and I love Invisible Cities best of all, and I have, on occasion, teared up at the end, when Marco Polo and Ghengis Khan seem to dissolve into dreams of each other. And, I have been known to read from it out loud just to prove to people how glorious it is.

It’s just so beautiful and it makes me happy and sad at the same time, and it makes me appreciate you, dear reader, as the most integral part of this relationship. Without you, I have no stories to tell. Yes, I have things that happened to me, but you give shape to them.

One of the best things about Calvino is, as I was telling the Beckett defender, that he gets that, when a story is told, the teller can think she is saying one thing and the listener can get another thing out of it, but rather than being depressed or forlorn about that–that we can’t ever really make ourselves completely understood to each other–he celebrates both acts as creative acts. I tell my story. You hear your story.

I dream of you dreaming of me.

6 thoughts on “Surprising Things in My Bedroom–Not for Sex

  1. Ahh…telling, showing, hearing and perception allatonce.

    I’m not sure I’m quite ready to celebrate the gaps. Of course, I’m no artist, either.

  2. okay, so i am a little tipsy, but you like people who read and post drunk, so I feel safe.
    Have I ever told you how much I LOVE to watch how you dance around people and ideas, how you put things together, pair up good partners who don’t see each other as connected and separate out the dangerous things; how you display the good and the bad like a budding flower and aim it toward the light? I learn so much from you as you do it. I should tell you that more often.

  3. Taketoshi, no crying in the library. You’ll get the books wet.

    Professor, are you trying to send me crying to the library?

    Summer, if you’re not an artist, I’m not a big fleshy ape. I looked through your vacation photos and I know that you are the one person in the world who’s managed to take a picture of themselves with a camera phone which both suggests a great deal about you and makes you even more mysterious.

  4. I love Calvino as well, for all the reasons you mentioned and more. I always think the words are singing to me.

    Unfortunately, Beckett has gotten too much press to be considered noteworthy anymore.

    Lastly, I think an ice cream scoop could be used for sex, but don’t ask me how.

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