The Weight (Going Back To Cali).


So, I’m heading back to California, back to the city I love, the City of Angels. In this tiny tornado of packing, clearing, donating and cleaning, I’m realizing that I have, um, a LOT of books. Books that I’ve read, books that I keep meaning to read, books that I love, books that I’ve schlepped everywhere – from town to town, house to house, state to state. But books, like so many other things in life, can get, um, you know, heavy. Weighty. Cumbersome. In an attempt to achieve that blessed state called The Lightness of Being (Kundera** would call it something else, butwhatthefuckdoesheknow, anyway?) some of that weight has to go and thus, I gotta get rid of many of my beloved books. There’s this weirdo thing I do with books: I hide stuff in them. Sundry things like flowers, pictures, notes – blah blah blah, you get the idea. It’s as though if I put things within the pages of a book, there they will stay safe and serve as prospective reminders of something, someplace, sometime, someone. Tucked away. Enveloped in words. Hidden from any external events that might cause harm. (You get the idea, right?)

In this latest round of The Great Book Cleanout, I found the following: a receipt from the Bodhi Tree, one of the best and now (sadly) defunct bookshops in Los Angeles; a small, handmade paper kite; a photo of my first great love, Jeff Futernick as a child of five or six, his curious brown eyes beaming; and lastly, a photo of my grandmother a la the 1980’s. I don’t really recall placing these particular whatnots within these different books (Gore Vidal’s “United States: Essays 1952-1992”? Really?) but finding them again made me happy.

So, yano, anyway:

The books are heavy and it’s def time to be rid of them, but what was put inside are reminders of who I was, who I’ve become – and the gentle acknowledgement that the weight of what we really love is light – and it’s okay to let the things that hold us, go.

**As in Milan. As in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. Read a goddamn book once in awhile, kk?


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