Saturday, January 18, 2014

32 Books: Chapter 4: You're Going To Cry

I read Book #2 on Friday morning with a cup of coffee before waking my kids up and taking them to school. It's short book and I polish it off before my daughter’s alarm clock starts playing “Don’t Wake Me Up” over and over until I finally go in there and wake her up.

I loved the author’s first book and film, it changed how I see the landscape of the world and my role in it. 
Reading that book played a huge role in how and why I wrote my first book

The first book was much much much better and more important than this one. 

This book felt like a spin off of a spin off.

 If you were to only read one book by this author, read the first book, the important book and when you finish it, give to someone isn’t quite headed where they are supposed to go. Give it to someone who sees more barriers than ramps to their dreams. But don’t give it to me, I’ve already read it. Thank you, though!

An hour later I’m in the school parking lot with Zack, going over his spelling and vocabulary words, just like we do every Friday morning. On our third round through the vocabulary I turn and notice something.

Zack? Where are your shoes?

He looks next to him. He looks at me. We both shake our heads.

I pull out of the parking lot and take us home. No point in rushing him back, we won’t make it in time. I’ll just take him to school late when I take her to her school in a few minutes.

We get home and go over the vocabulary two more times and then Zack kindly offers to help me have an easier day. “If you don’t take me to school you don’t have to pick me up, and once I’m late I might as well just stay, right? Or can I come to your class and meet your students?”

No way, no how I tell him.

Satisfied he gave it his best shot, he went to the living room to watch the rest of a new Sam & Cat where Sam keeps singing this crazy song about going down to the basement and filling buckets with cheese. 

My daughter reminds me that she needs to buy something to bring for a class party. 

Before I can say no she protests against my impending no with “if I don’t bring anything I can’t have anything and it’s a partyyyyyy!”

OK, fine. I load us all into the car and we go to Walgreens. 

She buys what she needs. He gets a bag of Doritos, and hums happily to himself in the backseat while we drop her off at her school.

When I walk my son into his school to sign him in, I try to tell the nice lady that we were here early, but he didn’t have shoes, and so we had to go home. She nods at me, writes SHOES across the tardy pass he would need to enter his class, and tells him to scoot off.

An hour after that, I’m in my office before my first class, eating a bowl of hot cheese grits and staring at the line of books in front of me.

One of the books calls loudly to me. It’s not the Tina Fey book. It’s not the book with the drumming opening. 

It’s the book that came from a student who tweeted me, “Do you want to cry or not cry?”

I tweeted back that I wanted to cry because that means I care about the characters.

She tweets back, “How much do you want to cry, a little or a lot?”

Without even giving it much thought, picked the deeper end of the pool.

There is something about this book that demanded to be read.  Every person who saw it and knew about it warned me with their hand covering their mouth in pity, like they were watching me being fed a big bite of hot peppers.  “You’re going to cry!”  “I feel sorry for you, that book made my sister hysterical!” “You DO know what that book is about, you’re ready to read THAT?”

I had no idea what the book was about, and I forbade myself from peeking at any reviews online.

On Friday in carpick up I put on my glasses and examined the jacketless book.
The title of the book gave away nothing. The book could be about anyone, anywhere, any age. The author’s name was unfamiliar to me. It wasn’t ethnic or old or young.

Before I finished the first page I knew this book was going to burn itself into a beautiful scar on my soul, so I spent the rest of Friday reading the book, willingingly leaning into the flames.