Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book #22: Amazingly Delicately Bravely Perfect

All day Tuesday I can't put book #22 down, and I can't stop talking about it.

It's so amazingly creatively emotionally historically wonderful that I could've easily finished 500 pages in one day but I forced myself to slow down and make the story last another day.

On Wednesday I announce to my classes that I'm reading The Book Thief and PLEASE do not tell me who dies but I just know there will be death.

Only a few of my students admit to having read this book and I beg them to NOT tell me who dies, but I know there will be death because.... well, you'll see.

Some students take my cue and write - or at least respectfully pretend to write - the title in their notebook.

A few text something and I'm sure one wrote "yep she's still ranting about books lmao." 

A girl in one of the higher rows holds her phone at a weird angle and I ask if she just took a selfie and she looks down.

Then I lecture. Today is the Bonus Army, the Bonus March. The hour goes fast.

Later I find a window of time to read 200 pages while Zoe is being tutored by Denise at Starbucks.  A 70ish man sits next to them and hits on them, and I keep still, like a bear trap, quiet until it snaps.  Soon enough he walks away. Smart man.

When they finish tutoring I have 10 pages left in the book.

Zack is at home; he hasn't done his homework yet because his backpack was in my car.

Fine, I get his backpack and he says he needs my help.

Ugh. What help?

He says he has to write sentences with "Tortilla, amigo, mesa, curandera, and fiesta."

I ask if the sentences are in English or Spanish, or if they're teaching Spanglish officially now. He didn't laugh. Tortillas and fiestas are serious words in his life.  We tackle that and I sit back on the sofa with the Book Thief.

9 pages left, I start crying so hard my breath comes out in sobs.

8 pages left, I'm sobbing and now wiping hot fat tears off my face.

It's beautiful. Painful, poetic, kind.

5 pages left, my sobs are audible.

Zoe puts her arm around me and questions whether she wants to read this book. I tell her yes, yes, and back off so I can finish.

I blow my nose, clean my face.

4 pages left. Oh, it's perfect. Perfect. So amazingly delicately bravely perfect.

3, 2 pages left, I hold my breath in awe, trusting this author to land me in a safe place at the end of this roller coaster.

The last words haunt me, and sew my broken heart back together.

I need a tiny break before Book #23 to grieve this world, to remember it and let it go so I can walk into a new sky castle of a story and be equally enchanted.