The ‘any’ old (rare) book room is now understood to be
And the ‘you are’
Is understood too.
“HOW (rare book) CRAZY” “Was it”
I determine and my quest is for
“Yeah: THAT crazy”.
The fairy’s handkerchief is dropped.
The fairy is understood
To be of a higher world
Than that of mortals
A mortal may see the fairy’s handkerchief.
May even see the handkerchief dropped.
If the mortal picks up the handkerchief
The fairy who dropped it
Becomes a mortal too.
Picking up a fairy’s handkerchief
Is very difficult to do.
I have always liked the fairies’ handkerchiefs. I never try to pick them up. I bend over and study them. I wonder how my hand would ‘ever could’. I do, too, see the fairies’ handkerchiefs... as a parallel in my old ‘rare’ book day. So many old books are dropped... by old book fairies. I see the old books and I often see them dropped. I know the difficulty of picking them up.
But I pick them up. An old ‘rare’ book is the same as a fairy’s handkerchief. When I pick it up... it becomes a mortal. And picking up a truly old ‘rare’ book’... is very difficult to do. Most old books are not rare. They are fairies that become mortals.
In cardboard boxes
In the backseat of cars
“From my mother’s house” (Part Nine).
Many mornings, everywhere I go I ...see and find... handkerchiefs dropped by old book fairies. Old books and old book fairies are, some mornings ‘everywhere’.
“ISN’T THIS ONE GOOD?” one mortal said to me about a book that was a fairy’s handkerchief until they
Picked it up and
It turned into a mortal
In a cardboard box
In the backseat of their
“IS FULL OF BOXES OF BOOKS. WHERE CAN I LEAVE THEM?”
“Not here. Today. The book sale is not until JULY.”
“WELL THERE ARE A LOT MORE OF THEM HOW MANY BOXES...
I DO NOT KNOW”.
“WELL LEAVE one OF THE BOXES HERE AND I WILL HAVE OUR
OLD BOOK MAN LOOK AT IT AND TELL ME WHAT TO DO”
“WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER BOXES?”
“JUST WAIT A DAY OR SO AND I’LL LET YOU KNOW. MR. SAINT JOHN IS VERY GOOD WITH OLD BOOKS.”
Those (all the boxes including the unknown ‘HOW MANY BOXES’) all ended up on the floor in the front right room of Arlington’s home. The housekeeper was ‘rip shit’ (my words). Arlington didn’t care and just groundhoged*** his way through every box in two days after calling me up to “TAKE AWAY THE REST AFTER I TAKE OUT WHAT I WANT”.
I showed right up but he (Arlington) “wasn’t ready”. These kind of old book guys are never ready... for anything. So I ‘furtive glance’ (Part Fourteen) pretty good. I left. I came back the next day. I ‘bought it all for a song’. Arlington didn’t care a hoot. He didn’t even pay a song. He didn’t even know what he bought. Or care. All it was was “some dead guy’s old books” ‘room’ anyway. His people cleaned it out and hated doing that “work” too. What ever Arlington said; what ever offered-cash price he gave, was
Pretty cool huh... the way that works. I never saw the books Arlington kept out for himself until after he was dead. He put them in boxes with the other boxes down in the basement by the furnace (Part Fifteen [D]). It was... like... only... two boxes. You know: “ONLY”. So I pretty much got the whole old book room... of the dead guy... just as Arlington got it and then
MESSED WITH IT. “Jesus”.
*** : To ‘groundhog’ is to rout through... usually “boxes ‘en stuff.”.. for ‘treasure’ while pushing the majority ‘rejected’ behind one forming an ever longer terminal moraine of, well... ‘rejected’ ‘stuff’ in a not-sorted state beyond the ‘groundhoged through’ effort. This is a ‘I see it all the time’ state of stuff for I.
So how am I supposed to know what he took off. The rest of the MOST OF the boxes was “local history stuff”. You know: Maine Local History... Books. So that’s not so bad. For a song.
It’s just that it goes on like this. All the time. Everywhere. Fairies dropping handkerchiefs. And Twiddle and Dee TRYING TO PICK THEM UP.
“Is that what they’re doing?” No. It’s worse than that. What they’re doing is like a kid dumping over their mom’s china cabinet in the front hall or dragging a nail down the side Dad’s new car or... YEAH IT’S IN HOUSE...: I mean... they do it themselves in there (the house) by themselves. I mean KNOWING they are doing it?
YEAH: They are “getting rid of the books”.
So I go out in the morning and look at the fairy handkerchief the FAIRIES
And I try to pick them up. That is... You know: The ‘rare’ ones.
After settling down... forty years ago... to complacent acceptance of these purposed settlement terms; fairies drop handkerchiefs and a very few of them are rare... as opposed to old... books, I may try to discover those and pick them up. Doing that, I turn them into ‘mortal’ ‘old’ ‘rare’ ‘books’ and... It’s actually worked out pretty well. Most of the other people most of the time (read: all of the other people all of the time) fuss with picking up handkerchiefs they “think” are a ‘rare’ book. I will give an example. Back in Benton Shelby’s shoe box (Part Fifteen [D]) I found one volume (“Vol. II”) of Scott’s ROB ROY with a Philadelphia 1821 imprint (English first edition 1817) in attractive original printed paper covered boards with an original binding calf spine with gilt gold title. No big deal especially if it’s ‘an odd volume’ (volume two only). I mean... ‘you know’... ‘six bucks’. Maybe. So why did Benton put it in the box with the other Byron and Scott American imprints.
BECAUSE IT WAS ONE. TOO.
“Well it’s only volume two”.
SO WHAT HAPPENED TO VOLUME ONE?
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW.
That’s right: How am I suppose to know?
So what does that mean?
It means that HERE IS A DROPPED fairy’s handkerchief of a... single old ‘volume two’ of an early Philadelphia imprint of Scott’s ROB ROY. Should I put it in a ...cardboard box full of ‘other books’ and put that in the back seat of my car? And drive around showing it to people? HUH? Well... that’s what happens... most of the time. Then the old book gets put on the dollar table... that gets reduced to ‘HALF PRICE’ on the “LAST DAY” of the “BOOK... SALE”. Everyone who looks at it (the odd ROB ROY volume) concurs and actually often verbalizes that it is “TOO BAD” “YOU DON’T HAVE THE FIRST VOLUME”.
How do you know you... they... them... THE... OLD BOOK ROOM... ‘does not’ HAVE THE “volume one”? I HAVE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN Full taped closed and stacked in the barn BOXES OF BOOKS from that book room. Did Benton have ‘the first volume’? Did he ‘separate’ intentionally or unintentionally the first volume from the second. Or did he put the second volume ‘in there’ with the other Byron and Scott books ‘incase it’ (vol. I) ‘turns up’.
“Turns up where?”
HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO KNOW. But... like... I should... WHAT? Make a career out of finding volume one?
No. Not happening.
Set it aside and ‘look for’
Keep it together in the shoe box of Byron and Scott? Probably the ‘best plan’.
And... how many years do I have to go through the rest of the 127 boxes “LEFT” from the ...Benton Shelby’s ... old book room... I ‘CLEANED OUT”?
What if I die first?
Then some other old rare book fairy handkerchief picking up fairy hunter and gatherer... is
It doesn’t matter.
As long as I was able to keep the door to the old rare book room closed so
Are kept out.
That is what this is all about: Finding the your inner volume one to go with your inner volume two of
“Scott’s ROB ROY?”
I know: “WHO WAS ROB ROY?”
Rob Roy, ‘volume two only’, is a fairy’s handkerchief.
Try picking it up.
It’s not easy to do.
It’s a very sympathetic world; the old book room. Now that you know what one is and will notice it. You will notice it (“them”) now. Slowly you’ll turn your head away when you are ‘ushered off’. No... you didn’t even ‘pull a volume’ that ‘caught your eye’. The whole old book room just slipped through your fingers. Old books slipped through your fingers. “I should have started this thirty years ago” I hear said. “I”;
“I don’t know what I was thinking”.
And your outside the front door and the sunny summer day shows that they have “just mowed the lawn” “probably yesterday”.
“When they die what will happen to the books?”
I will put them in cardboard boxes in my barn until I die.
Arlington put his boxes ‘down by the furnace’ until he died.
It’s a blast
(Picking up fairy handkerchiefs).