Monday, January 20, 2014

A Crisis, with Small White Dogs


Yesterday did not start smoothly.

Backstory: When I was in Florida a few weeks ago, my dad gave me a little black book in which he kept a handwritten account of a cross-country road trip he took with some high school pals in 1955. I read it in the airport and on the airplane, and was so happy to have this first-hand window onto my dad's life as a young man. He wrote about a fender-bender in Miami Beach that cost $55 to fix, his first experience with cherries jubilee at a restaurant in New Orleans, and a "real neat lookin" waitress in Oakley, Kansas.

On Saturday, while walking the dog, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't seen this journal for a while. Did I put it on the shelf, where I'd intended to? Well, yesterday morning I looked for it, and it wasn't there. I searched the house high and low in an increasing state of panic, looking in drawers and cabinets, finally concluding with a sense of dread that I must have left it on the airplane. I went to the British Airways website and filled out a lost property report, all the while moaning to Dave about what a terrible son I am, to lose something so precious.

Then I got up and looked at the bookshelf again, and there was the book -- it had simply fallen behind the others on the shelf.

I was so relieved. Holy cow.

They say all's well that ends well, and I guess that's true. We went out to breakfast to celebrate -- back to the Electric Diner -- and then I took a long photo walk all the way out to Ealing, in West London. I came back with about 45 pictures, so I'm well stocked for the week to come.

In the afternoon, Dave and I finished watching "Forbidden Planet," one of my favorite early sci-fi movies, which I'd rented to show him. I ended the day by finishing "The Goldfinch," which I can now return to the library and move on to the next person who has it reserved. I don't know when I've enjoyed a book so much. It was a true page-turner from beginning to end, with a morally ambiguous protagonist and the fate of a priceless cultural artifact hanging in the balance. Highly recommended!

(Photo: St. Mary's Burial Ground in Acton, west London.)

10 comments:

ain't for city gals said...

Good to know about the goldfinch...I am #76 on waiting list at the library..ha!. Might buy if I see it at Costco and then donate..

Ms. Moon said...

Yep. Now I have to read that book.
I really like your little white dogs in that picture. They give good balance to the shot, don't they?
And what a relief to find that book!

Reya Mellicker said...

So glad you found the book! Whew!!

Nancy said...

I was feeling the anxiety over the lost travel diary. So glad it was found. Also, I think I'll tackle the Goldfinch audio book. I was reading some of the reviews just yesterday.

Sharon said...

Many years ago on one of my numerous trips to London, I went to see "Forbidden Planet" as a stage play. It was one of my most memorable theatre experiences. It followed the movie plot perfectly with the added fun of a lot of audience interaction. Somewhere in my photo archives I have a photo of the theatre with the "Forbidden Planet" marquee. That must have been 1989 or 1990. On paper that looks like a long time ago, in my head not so much.

ellen abbott said...

I finally finished The Book Thief so now maybe I'll have to see if my library has The Goldfinch. So glad you found your dad's journal.

Linda Sue said...

It seems that, to me, Olga is still the new kid on the block- like we are still getting to know her...like yesterday!
time is a funny thing...today I have misplaced some important and expensive medication...I had it in my hand and then i didn't...This sort of thing happens to my husband frequently, but not to me...I blame spooks... it can not possibly be that my mind is getting feeble. No, that can not be!

junkthief said...

It seems I have some little crisis with "lost" items like that though not as precious.. When my parents died, I came across the long distant love letters from their lengthy engagement. It was a very curious way to see them that I had not been aware of before.

The Bug said...

Love the little white dogs :)

I put a hold on the Goldfinch audio book - I'm #56 in the queue. That's ok, I have about 5 other books ahead of it in my own personal queue.

Barbara said...

Losing something like your book makes me really crazy! It's always such a relief when it is found.

I can't wait to get back to the Goldfinch after your positive recommendation. I wish my book club didn't have a 400 page limit.

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