Who would’ve thought a celeb like Sherwood would be felled by a bit of toothpick or that I would find Winesburg, Ohio bookmarked with a napkin embossed with white bells and May 7, 1966, the date Al said “I do” to me, marking the place I left off? Or that I would stumble across a quote from Heart of Darkness by Joe Conrad: “We live, as we dream, alone.”
Slick paperbacks pass through my hands. Cloth bounds and leather bounds. Brushed-velveteen covers pass through my hands to the shelf, back again, to the table next to my bed, to my lap, the shelf, the chair arm. I roll on my side in the night and wake in the morning with an indented line running like half an X, temple to chin, from the hard edge of a book.
Who would’ve thought I would dream as I live? C.S. Lewis would’ve. Would’ve said to me, if he knew me and could, “We read to know we are not alone.” I would’ve read less, loved more. I would’ve, if I had known.
[After reading an article on The Poetess in America by Annie Finch]