Traveler 1 — back from the dead
I just got back from my Uncle John’s wake, where I sat in the front row next to my favorite cousin’s husband, who also doesn’t do “Catholic.” While the cute young priest led the rest of the group through the required statements and responses, I stared at my hands folded in my lap — the best I could do under the circumstances of my usually irreverent nonbelief.
That’s when I noticed that my fly was open. I felt the giggle rising up from my toes, right past my open fly. Camouflaging the zipping up of my fly with a sudden shift in my chair, I managed to get myself in order, but the giggle was still rising to the occasion.
The room-wide “Amen” came just in time.
Traveler 2 — a disposal problem
Yesterday, on my drive back to Albany for a dentist appointment, I heard a review of a book called The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. But I get ahead of myself. What I want to say about the book and that review is coming up as Traveler 3.
My car was loaded up with clothes and housewares for the Salvation Army (I know where the drop-off is in Albany), a cheap tv cart that I had to exchange because the one I bought was defective, a shopping list that took up the whole length of a 10 inch envelope, and a bag full of smelly cat litter.
Why the cat used litter, you ask? Because the garbage truck only picks up on Tuesdays, and the bin could not fit another inch of anything.
Since I was meeting my women’s group friends for dinner, I figured that I would ask one of them to take the bag of litter home and throw it in her trash. (Yes, that’s a bizarre thing to ask a friend to do, but they all know me well enough not to be suprised by anything I might ask of them.)
On my way running around the city taking care of what was on the extensive list of things to buy (including a bigger black mailbox), I considered (1) tossing the bag of used litter out my car window on some side street (2) taking it into a ladies’ room at Burger King and throwing it into their trash (3) driving back to my old apartment building and leaving it in the back where the big dumpsters are.
But then, as I was putting some groceries (this burgh to which I’ve moved has a very shabby Shop Rite that never has challah), into my car — which I had parked next to one of those fenced in places for shopping carts that big marts provide in their big parking lots — I noticed that there was a trash bin right there next to all the carts.
So I never did have to ask one of my friends to take that bag of shit off my hands.
Before I left town, though, I had in my hands instead, a hard cover copy of The Traveler that I got at Barnes and Noble. I very rarely buy hard cover books; I just wait for the paperback copies or else get the books from the library. But I thought that this one might be worth the full price (not including B&N standard 20 percent off).
Traveler 3 — “A cautionary tale guaranteed to raise the paranoia level of anyone who reads it”
The guy on NPR whose review of the book I heard on my way upstate yesterday said the the author, John Twelve Hawks, is not identifiable by anyone, not even his publisher. When he talks to his publisher, he uses a voice distorter. He lives off the “grid.” Well, that piqued by interest right there.
Can satellites track your every movement? Do covert Internet surveillance programs inspect your emails and scrutinize the web sites you visit? Is what we believe to be the true history of the world just a “puppet show for childish minds”? Scary stuff says the B&N review.
Twelve Hawks presents big ideas about free will and determinism, good versus evil, social control, and alternate dimensions, all while impressing with knowledge ranging from the New Testament to string theory. Although reviewers compared the novel to the films Kill Bill, Star Wars, and The Matrix — with echoes of authors Dan Brown, Stephen King, George Orwell, and Michael Crichton thrown in — they called it wholly original, says the Bookmarks Magazine review on Amazon.com
I don’t know when I’m going to have time to read it, since I have to finish Harry Potter first, and then Enchantment.
I never read non-fiction. I have more than enough reality to contend with these days.
And more than enough unpacked boxes that I’m still tripping over.
Meanwhile, “Happy Trails to You…”
Traveler 1 — back from the dead