A guy walks into a bookstore

I am on this diet that makes you stupid. Last time I was on it I swore I’d never do it again because afterwards, you just gain all the weight back, but you stay stupid.
But, eh.
Down 9 pounds so far.
During voluntary starvation, also known as fasting, or dieting, the brain is receptive for, you know, spiritual ideas. I was getting my passport renewed and afterwards stopped by an English bookstore in Vienna to see which books jumped out at me, because sometimes they do. Sometimes you find the best books that way.
This time, it was like walking into the dog pound. They were all over me, yipping and licking my face.
I had to put several back onto the shelf, in the end, because I had so many. Too many. Plus, I couldn’t find any of the ones I wanted to buy for Alpha. The number of books I can get away buying for myself is a function of the number I buy for Alpha and the kids. If the latter number = 0, I can buy a maximum of 2 for myself. And the kids’ books all sucked – nothing against magic, but all the fantasy/magic/pseudopotterish books raised my hackles. We already have the Potter books, and some Narnia books, which the kids don’t really seem to like, and have all the Dahl books we need, so I decided to wait until I’m there with Gamma. No idea what Beta is reading nowadays, or even if she has time to read, she’s so busy with school. So same there, will have to go back there with her someday. And same with my wife, none of the books I wanted to buy for her were in stock, and wasn’t sure about the other ones there. Surely some good ones, but which?
So looks like a family trip to the bookstore someday.
So, 2 books. This spiritual book jumped out at me and although it said it had been recommended by Oprah, I bought it anyway. And Neil Gaiman’s latest, and this other spiritual thriller thing about secretive godlike types saving the world from other evil godlike secretive types. Which made three books, so I put the latter back on the New Releases table because I wasn’t crazy about the flat dialogue I saw leafing through it.
I figured, Beta can read Neil too if she wants.
I finished that first when I got home, but turns out she wasn’t interested. It’s really good, what’s it about, it’s about Ananci’s sons, Ananci the trickster from West African mythology, and they have this problem and um and these adventures and stuff.
Who reads their dad’s books, I guess.
Gamma was more interested in trickster stories. She asked me to tell her some. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of the Anaci book I could share with her, and turned out I don’t know any trickster stories by heart. And none of the Coyote stories in this book we have were interesting either so I told her I’d have to take a rain check.
The other book, all about living in the now. Not the future, not the past.
In my frame of mind, the perfect book for me. First of all, being has been on my mind lately (which I suppose is ironic), just being, as opposed to worrying or regretting or fearing or feeling guilty and so on.
Which is why the book jumped out at me in the first place.
I tried to share some of its wisdom with Gamma. I figured little kids are pretty much in beginner’s mind all the time, aren’t they? Kids and Zen, perfect match, I thought.
What’s the book about, she said.
Okay when you think, I said, when you think, you’re thinking. And you think that’s you thinking, your mind, you think you’re your mind. But try stepping back and listening to yourself thinking, listening to your mind, observing your mind. So there’s what you thought was you thinking, your mind thinking, then who’s that listening to your mind think? If you’re thinking, who’s listening to you think.
Me, of course.
Then who’s thinking?
Me, too. They’re all me. It’s just one me.
No, but…
But what?
Let me read some more of the book and get back to you.
We played pick-up-sticks after that. And I started reading her “Big Friendly Giant” by Roald Dahl. We’re both enjoying that a lot.
My goal is ten more pounds before Thanksgiving.

5 responses to “A guy walks into a bookstore

  1. but then if i am compelled to jump you there will be no soft edges. i’ll be sucked towards your nearly irresistible magnetism and then slice my hands up on your sharp sharp collarbone. or wait, now i see: it is both enticement and self-defense, this diet of yours.

  2. mig

    everyone grab a collarbone and make a wish

  3. Fasting, huh. I’ve never quite managed to make myself do that. The problem is, I have no self-control. I’m impressed, Mig.

    Hey, is Gamma old enough for the His Dark Materials trilogy? It’s damn good, full of adventure and complicated good and evil. Plus the heroine is one tough little cookie.

  4. mig

    it’s a strict, 100% fast too, except for the brown rice this morning and some cottage cheese just now. and a few tangerines.

    actually, it’s something called the “cabbage soup diet” which is as appetizing as it sounds. you get to eat all the cabbage soup you want, which isn’t very much but empowers you.

    will try dark materials. will even order it right now…

  5. “Cabbage Soup Diet”?! Oh, Mig.