Friday, October 1, 2010

the letters

I'm home now for my cousin's wedding. I always have really mixed feelings about coming home, and there's something about the fall here that's slightly haunting and nostalgic. It's especially nostalgic when I'm sitting in my kitchen, drinking hard cider. It reminds me of the song "This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)" by the Talking Heads. Maybe it's because I've recently spent so little time at home, and because I was so far away over the summer. There isn't even an ocean between here and Bolivia, but I felt like I was in another world.

Tonight I went to Borders (the only thing that I actually needed to get was a book to study for the GRE), but I didn't actually buy any books. I forgot to even look for the GRE book. Whatever. I sat in a chair and read parts of "Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters," "The Dharma Bums," and "The Lady Matador's Hotel."

I wouldn't really have a problem with spending my money on books (even though since I did my report on independent business I feel bad buying books at Borders and feel like I should get them somewhere else). Because I have been moving so much lately, though, (approximately every 4 months I think, or something) the last thing I want is to have a bunch of books to bring with me, or to stay in my house. Do you ever feel like that? Like you don't want so many things tying you down? I also kind of like getting books from the library, because I always wonder how many other people have read it and how many other train rides it has been on and backpacks it has lived in. Maybe that's similar to the feeling people get from vintage clothes.

Anyway, I was reading two Kerouac books because my obsession with Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation has been rekindled. It had been temporarily overshadowed by my desire to read South American writers (by that I mean mainly just Pablo Neruda) and Ernest Hemmingway, but I remembered why I loved them so much a few nights ago when I reread Howl. I wanted to write down all these things from the books I was looking at, but the lady at the desk wouldn't let me take the pen to where I was sitting. So I read a few things a bunch of times until I thought I'd committed them to memory, but I wasn't sure so I hurried home as fast as I could. I didn't want to stop reading, but I couldn't ignore the compulsion I felt to immediately write them all down. When I'm reading something really beautiful it's hard to stop because I know that the next part could be even better. I get kind of obsessive, actually.

I noticed that Jack Kerouac signed some of his letters "as ever, Jack" and I really love that. When I fall in love with someone, they are going to get the best love letters ever, and I will write them when it's really windy out and I am drinking hard cider, and I will sign them "as ever, Carolyn."

I also wanted to do a post with some of the nice things that people have emailed me about my blog. Some of them have been sincerely touching. I compiled them all, but then realized how pretentious that something like that would be. "Hey, I'm not a published writer or anything, and half the things I write here are quotes, but, here is some PRAISE for my blog." So I don't think I'm going to. Thank you to the people who have written to me, though, it means everything. I am going to try to rewrite the things I loved from those books now.

as ever,



  1. This is just perfect. I know what you mean about not wanting to have so many things tie you down and the feeling you get from books at the library or buying/wearing vintage clothes. Wish I had more time to read.

  2. Nice blog! I like your writing way. I'm doing practice GRE here: . I hope it's useful for GRE test takers.