This isn’t entirely about me, although I do enjoy using everything I see and that’s readily available as a bookmark. I actually used to dog ear my books, but now I’d rather lose my place than even think about doing something as barbaric. What do you all use as bookmarks?
He used anything he could find as a bookmark. They usually told a better story than whatever he was reading. His taste in books was always horrible; no one ever knew what was on his desk at work, and whenever he tried to explain the plots, they either had no plot or it was too lengthy of an explanation to care. Last book I saw him reading was Infinite Jest.
It seemed promising, judging it just from the cover. He could kill someone with that thing. It was so heavy. I flipped through it while he was out on his lunch. The enormous weight of the fucking thing shocked me. It was so big he had three bookmarks in it. I didn’t know what I was looking for, or why I thought it was okay. I figured he’d be flattered, if anything. The page I opened up to was one long sentence. What’s the point?
The business cards, concert tickets, newspaper clippings, napkins, and whatever else he could find told much better stories. It didn’t make sense how he could have such a seemingly happy life and his books never matched. “You don’t just fold the corner of the page?” I asked one day. “Never,” he replied gravely. “Never dog ear your books.” This was another shock. How could he be so serious, so careless, and so happy all at the same time? “They’re just books,” I said, making the whole situation worse.
You could tell what kind of mood he was in based on the bookmark he used. He mostly kept to himself, but they said enough. If he used a New York Times article, I’d hear him at some point in the day talking about Trump with one of the other guys. If he used a napkin, he’d ask me what I thought about the idea for a story he wrote on it. If he had a concert ticket, he might say yes to a couple drinks after work.
“I just find whatever’s close,” he always claimed. We all went along with it, though. He wasn’t a bad guy by any means. Weird, yes, but we enjoyed his company. “You all should read more,” he said — not in a demeaning way. “I just see you all in everything I read.” I would try if I didn’t fall asleep every time. If I laid on my bed, I would get comfortable, and then I’d skip pages, and then I’d wake up with drool in the book. And I couldn’t read at my desk because it would feel like work and that’s not the point. All I could say was “We’ll see.” It was enough for him, which was nice.
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