"Can" B. Worth - Feeding the Birds
The Large Inside
What ever happened next in Dead Can’s life, it was overshadowed by his active absorption of his self by his “came to rare books”. Simplified, he mentally and physically “came to rare books” and… never came back. He didn’t notice this and would not have cared if he had noticed it. Quickly, “collecting” was dropped. He couldn’t afford what he wanted and the minor funding he did have was supervised by a… rare book hater. “Rare book hater” became an expanding universe OUTSIDE. This was fine for Dead Can discovered that he was most interested in the…process… of …rare books… and that the terms of this discovery was “peper and solt it as thay plese” with a touch of bibliomania. Although he had his of-the-moment preferences or fantasies, Dead Can really sought no specific or fixed “came to rare books”. He was actually open to all of the “came to” AND enthralled with this happenstance TOO. It was endless shelter from the expanding universe OUTSIDE.
Brilliance, academic disciplines and physical dexterity combined with slight of hand, quickly showed Dead Can a maze of inside footpaths that he could scurry about on without …ever leaving rare books… or …ever being detected doing that (not leaving). For example, he could peruse a loose copy “THE MONTH AT GOODSPEED’S”, the premier Boston rare bookseller’s monthly …to a lay person… “MAGAZINE”… without any anyone ever noticing AND should interruption intercede, the little handheld ditty easily disappeared into an inner jacket pocket BEFORE questions could be asked. Jury duty, hospital baby born duty, school play duty, wife’s relatives over duty and ANY OUTSIDE DUTY that has a few loose minutes… “THE MONTH” was PERFECT. It seemed to Dead Can to be MADE with him in mind. And it was.
Even I… “know that trick” for the rare book iota content of “THE MONTH” is still just as good today as it was on the first day. AND the slight ephemeral quality but HEAVY ON GOOD CONTENT clarity of the little “what’s that?” DOES purvey slight of hand bibliomania support BEST. If questioned one may turn it over to a rare book hater to inspect and… they will be handing it back shortly with a shrug. I noted Dead Can’s stash of “THE MONTHS”… with his pencil notes in the margins… and “handy to the desk” storage… right along and NEVER kept them anywhere else except moving to join my own cache. Although I have not crosschecked for duplicates… “it doesn’t matter”. I have… often… “sat in the Mall” reading a “THE MONTH” while “they shop”.
While sliding ever deeper into rare book process study… Dead Can continued to never come home empty handed. Although cost conscious at any or all rare books for sale, he DID “find” “rare books” and those he plopped down the “a few pennies” and “brought home”. Extravagant expense was for … “reference”. No rare bookseller or bookman may read that last word without a knowing nod. That IS what he should “spend on” and… he did. And he was all over the place doing that too. ANY bibliographic tome was “worth” “it”. (?). Having at hand a university library jammed with unused (except by Dead Can) rare book reference WAS NOT ENOUGH to stop a bibliomania ish fixture of biblio accumulation by “adding” another… generally never used or read and shortly BURIED IN A BOX and LOST but still always “I have that”… bibliography or critical study or some …odd or obscure “I only used that ONCE” rare book study reference book. Dead Can, being an “enthralled with all of it” DID go to some …quiet footpaths in rare books.
Want an example? I will now supply one but qualify this lone example as being but a type specimen for many other examples hidden within his boxes. Just the initially examined desk drawers (Part Four) alone fully suggest what I found that he “came to” in his lifetime of “came to rare books”. The purpose of this example is to demonstrate how deeply and soon …to remain there for ever… Dead Can “came to rare books”.