Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Four - "Rare Book Chat"

Worn Collars

Part Four

"Rare Book Chat"

            In the book room... of a book collector... of rare books:  In their there; their lair of rare book dare.  And care.
            And share?
            No.  I have established the proposition point for I to share.
            Stare... in dullness.  Boredom.  Wretched
            “I want that” from every box in that estate that was boxed up and moved
            “From Mother’s house”.  I know this ‘it’ is there.  I dare...
            For all myself.  Only
            While sitting there.

            The proposed “verse or two” (Part Two) behind us I tackle... Book Room – Book Desk... “Book Chat”.  It is actually “Rare Book Chat”.  No... No New York Time’s Book Review “I READ”
            Shit.  NO ‘it’s just published’ snooker cue and balls.  No...
            Avalanche of contemporary literary acumen.  No of that for even the “I” of Arlington St. John knows better and ...hates that too.  So I wear my slinky outfit, faux sip the over iced smidgen and wait
            For the universe of ‘rare book chat’ to end... or at least stall... so ‘ah boxing we may go...?”.  But (rare) book chat IS a ‘fair and square... ‘sitted’ at the desk... in the ...(book)man’s (rare book buff’s)... ‘rare book room’.

            It is actually a relief to me to have my butt slide into the chair; the ‘visitor’s chair’.  USUALLY and of being a ‘good’ ‘rare book man’ (rare book dealer), I am ‘intercourse’, of course, so I am so familiar with the hodgepodge positions of intercourse so... know when to relax and
            Fall asleep in my chair.
            THIS IS BECAUSE most of it (rare book chat) is ‘dreadful sameness’ with a vague application of commercial salt and pepper.  UNLESS
            One (I) is  ‘visitor sitted’ before an actually INSPIRED mind of ‘rare books’ with that MERGED with the physical action of taking that inspired state into rare book combat VERY regularly.  Then... girls and boys... “MAY WE TALK?”.  That didn’t happen with Arlington... to
            No one’s surprise?  I was there to stare... and care... about the “NEXT” ‘boxes’
            Under the stairs.  That is “why?” I was “always there”.

            But that does not change the (rare) ‘book room’, the ‘rare book room desk’, ‘the rare book room desk top... the rare book room desk’s drawers... closed and opening to the ...rare book room’s rare book... man (rare book buff)... only.  (Please remember these drawers).  It does not change the rare books shelves of rare books shelved.  Nor change the old china cabinets filled with ‘rare books’ of... ‘under lock’...; Arlington’s rare book ‘collection’.  He.  I.  Sitted.  Seated.  Sipping smidgens.  I... dizzy... and story telling rubbish I...:
            Ok?  I really cannot rule that happenstance out... ever... even if it is logically (et al) ‘impossible’.  I already said ‘whoredom’.  Ok?
            Fruit flies do not eat Saltines.  Nor the ‘that called’ “cheese”.
            Ice melts.  I taught myself to watch that... progress... of a ‘book chat’.  Most men are grown up enough to, themselves, become childish enough to become cranky, bored and restless-of-ass seated on ‘hard... wood’ so that... unless an action dynamic... relating to rare books... preferably their rare books... in their rare book room... at the rare book desk...:  SEE WHERE WE GO?
            Because I am a ‘rare book dealer’ I escape this ‘mostly’ for I am the ‘on call there’ (some old book buff’s old book room) to... well... “SELL THEM SOMETHING” “GOOD” “CHEAP”.  Where is the (rare) book?  Where is the money?  “I”
            “Don’t believe I HAVE THAT.”
            “You’ve never ever SEEN THAT.”
            “I think once bob TUMBLER had a copy.  Doesn’t he still COLLECT?  I haven’t SEEN bob in QUITE A WHILE.”
            “I bought this copy off of bob’s...”
            “YOU SAY”!
            “Wife last week.”
            “He DIED?”
            “No.  He’s at a big book show.”
            “ *** “ (the local ‘better quality’ ‘assisted living’ “center”. 

            There is always a long pause then... in the book chat... in the rare book room... with us (the buff and I) ‘sitted’.  A long pause.  The pause is not about humility.  Or humanity.  It is about “IF YOU (I) bought THAT... what else did YOU (I) buy”. (Note period, not a question mark).
            That is what the pause is about.
            And it is a well chosen and justified pause... particularly when one configures that... I do know what I did buy and ...sitted... across the book room desk from me; opposite at the ‘his’ rare book room desk sitted is “I DON’T KNOW” ‘what you bought’
            “His wife has waited for FIFTY YEARS to sell me (“CLEAN OUT”) everything ...in that room.  Sir.”

            Oh is that a ...next... long pause.  Too.  For the old book buff the “ALL” (of “everything”) flashes before the “I” and the, too, old book buff’s EYES to... too.  NO WE ARE NOT LIKE YOU, Grumpy.  WE now do SHOW YOU WHY you are only a fifteen or twenty second view (peek) into the ‘that room’ (Part Two); the old book buff’s rare book room.  Yes, Salt and Vinegar, I and the he... whoever it be... are NOW the opposite of you for WE are ‘in there’ looking out at you “please go away” “the festivities” have begun.  While your dead weight of YOUR ‘rare book’ “I KNOW WHAT THOSE ARE” goes back to the LIVING ROOM of your real world HATEFUL of the cavalier attitude shown ‘by those mean men’ in their ‘that room’ toward HALF DEAD FELLOWS; a fellow old book buff whose mind is blind and ‘doubt he remembers’ and
            I have the little pamphlet and am willing to let it go for the ‘little’ price I ‘fixed’ (pulled off bob Tumbler’s ceiling when I cocked my head back as I ‘cleaned out’ ‘that room’ “OF HIS HE SPENT ALL HIS LIFE IN THERE”; the room
            His ‘rare book room’.
            “A FINGER FOR YOU BOY and TWO FINGERS for BOB!”
            On two cubes of ice.
            “Spiders all over the place in there.  Most of it hadn’t been touched in YEARS.  I knew that before I started.  I knew it would be good.  I went right over.  She never touched any of his books.  He was safe in there.”
            Honor the Dead.
            “He’s not even dead.”
            “Might as well be”.
            “Wouldn’t he LOVE to be here with us DOING THIS”.
            “OH HIS STORIES”.  Each one (a single rare book) of his HAD A STORY.
            “GOD if I could just keep it all.”
            “THAT’S WHAT HE DID.  How long you figure.”
            “Oh forty years at least.  Of the serious stuff.”
            “Remember those BOTTOM SHELVES down to his right; on the floor behind the file cabinet.  THAT WAS A TREASURE TROVE.  He’d never let me look.  I’d stand up and lean over his desk.  “GET YOUR NOSE OUT OF THERE” he’d say.”
            “But to me the one set of shelves behind his left shoulder.  That one case with the curtain.  Certainly you know about that?  I didn’t get past that curtain for THIRTY YEARS.  ONE DAY though.  Something... I think it was just before the Hobart Sale.  Something we were doing.  Suddenly he pulled the curtain back. ‘ I KNOW WHERE I PUT THAT’ he said.  Pulled a copy off the second shelf.  I couldn’t even FOLLOW I was so stunned.  You bought ALL THAT too?”
            “The room is empty.  I bought the bookcases and the desk too.  Took it all out myself.  Was gonna have Larry help me but it was too good in there.  I didn’t want him around for that.  You know how he is:  He’d start to stare at every book.  I didn’t say a thing to anyone.  I’m just starting now to let some out.  That’s why I’m here.  I knew you know this (the rare pamphlet)... and this copy too.
            “He had a copy of “****” in there; Dexter Bradley’s copy.  Dexter found it.  Did you find that?”
            “I may have”.
            “May have?  You so ...lie.”
            “Could be somewhere.  Most of it’s still in boxes”
            “Don’t you remember... He had a “****” too.  WITH the map.  They never have the map.  He showed me that once.  We were so drunk in there that afternoon.  The next day I thought I dreamed it.  But he must have had it.  He’d never show it too me again.  ‘Dreamed that’ he’d say.  He could be a mean old coot.”
            “What time is it?  We’ve been at it for hours.”
            “WOULDN’T HE LOVE to be here going through his BOOKS like this.  Oh he would just be MAD about each one.”

            Now that, girls and boys... is a ‘rare book chat’.
            At Arlington’s... it is but
            A dirty old
Worn shirt collar
In comparison.
            “I didn’t find out about that until later” Arlington said to me about Bob Tumbler’s Rare Book Collection.  “By that time some dealer had bought the whole thing they told me.  Down Boston way I understood.  You ever get in his room in there?”
            “Oh no... never.”
            “Absolutely filled with treasure they told me.”

1 comment:

  1. Humor? Chat nearby the barbecue grill: Do you like "rare books"? No, I like them "well done". AND "If rare books are so popular, why don't they publish more of them"?