Tuesday, January 08, 2013

My History With The History of Love

I'm reading this.
{{for the third time}}

I bought it for a friend for Christmas 
and then was so jealous 
that he was going to get to read it and I wasn't 
that I had to pick it up again.

And, dang it, if it isn't as good as the first time I read it.

::: the first time I read it :::
I started it in the tiny waiting room of a Smog Check shop.
I was alone in the front office while the man checked my car.
I had to pause and pull myself together 
as I read what is still one of my favorite lines: 
"Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, 
and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering."

I could not put it down.
For days, I read and read this book 
{I'm not a very fast reader}

I finished the book in my house on the lake
my living room filled with friends 
laughing, talking, playing Wii bowling

I sat on the other side of the tiny living room,
reading this book.

I had told them they could come over
as long as they didn't mind that I would be reading while they were there.

I wanted to finish this book.
And the majority of them had read it,
so they understood.

When I finished, I cried.

They paused the video games
and we all went out on to my back patio
to talk about how much we loved the book.

••• ••• •••

and then there was
::: the second time I read it :::
I brought it with me to Kenya. 
It had been less than a year since I'd finished it, 
but somehow I knew I'd want to read it again while I was away.

I started it one night in October
and then read it through our trip to
Northern Kenya {Lodwar and Kakuma}
and finished in this hotel, under a mosquito net
hot, sweaty, and in full-on tears.

"She was gone, 
and all that was left 
was the space where you'd grown around her, 
like a tree grows around a fence."

••• ••• •••

and now, here we are.
::: the third time I read it :::
just over four years later.
I've been waiting to read it...
waiting to finish my 100 books before 30.

I started it in my living room
hovering around the space heater because it was
freezing inside and raining outside

I've marked passages I love both times that I've read it
my eyes, now, are trying to skip ahead to the markings
knowing that there is a breath-catching sentence waiting

I'm not sure where I will finish it,
but I can guarantee there will be tears.

"A hundred things can change your life;
A letter is one."

If you haven't read this book.
Seriously, make it happen.


Josh Treece said...

Holy cow. This is absolutely being added to my que. Thanks for the recommendation!

Trevor Harrison said...

This is one of the books I most often recommend to people who love to read. I believe it was you who enlightened me of it. Retro appreciation.

Julie Hibbard said...

I'm reading it for the second time right now...LOVE it!!
YOU are such a good writer!