A couple of weeks ago, La Belette Rouge bestowed upon me the honor of being a proud bookworm. Besides being far superior to being recognized as the hungry tapeworm I normally am, this honor is a kick to me because there was a time when I actually was a bookworm. Lately, though, the only time I can be seen with a book in my hand is when I least want anyone to see me. Let's just say that even though I close the door, some cat or other will force its way through to investigate, looking at me reproachfully before swishing its tail in disgust and leaving in haste. For my part, I remind them that the door was shut for a reason.
That's usually when I notice that my feet have gone numb from sitting on the throne too long. The lengths I will take for a moment alone in quiet.
So the point of this bookworm honor is to do the following: pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 46. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences.
So here's the thing. I'm going to grab the book nearest me and write the fifth sentence plus a couple more from page 46. The book is Pete Hamill's Forever.
There were no signs of obvious grief; no tears, no sniffles, no choking sounds. He took two more rush mats from the old woman and floated them down over Rebecca Carson's body. With spade, he began to cover her. He threw down seven loads of black earth and then handed the shovel to the boy. "Seven," he said. "Only seven." The soaked dirt was very heavy, and Robert didn't want to do this, but his mother was already covered, and so he added earth to earth.A friend had recommended a while ago that I read the Pete Hamill novels and I'm glad that I'm finally getting around to it. Somehow it seems fitting that I would begin reading Hamill with this particular novel. When you open it up to Chapter One, you find this passage:
I didn't know anything about Irish poet John Hewitt who wrote The Colony, but John Hewitt is the name of my paternal great-grandfather. I like the symmetry of that.And what a people loves it will defend. We took their temples from them and forbade them, for many years, to worship their strange idols. They gathered in secret, deep in the dripping glens, Chanting their prayers before a lichened rock.
- John Hewitt, "The Colony," 1950
This honor has made the rounds. I am feeling lazy and a bit emotionally wrung out. The last couple of days, my mothering skills have been called upon in complicated ways that stretched my patience and tempted me to abdicate the role altogether, so let's do this...if you have not received this award and you are sitting within three feet of a book, consider yourself tagged.
Thank you, Belette, for thinking of me when you were handing out this tres sexy honor. Je t'aime comme une soeur.