Friday, September 25, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Twenty-Eight - "Four Years" (D-3)

Worn Collars

Part Twenty-Eight

"Four Years" (D-3)

            Of course... I just wait a few more years.
            After the wake up call in the doorway.
            Or does this ‘take’ a few more years... of ‘give and take’?
            So I have to wait
            A few more years?

            Who does say anything about the ‘old books’; the ACTUAL ‘old books’
            In Arlington St. John’s old (rare) book room?  Who?
            I don’t.
            Damny doesn’t.
            Steve does?
            Yeah he does.  So what.
            The housekeeper with her spray bottle of window cleaner?
            “I know” you say... “She gets someone else (to look at the... estate contents).”
            Maybe she did.
            I don’t know.  But... anyway...
            Who?  She gonna get?

            Yeah we’re not around on trees.  Just... not... many (any?).  Find one.  You can’t even find an old (rare) book room let alone someone who’s gonna BUY it.  Not even you or your wallet is “game”.  Flushed your partridge that does.  UP you go.  So....:  “Whatever”.  For two more years.  It’s not ‘wait’.  It’s the ‘way it is’.

            Backing up to my in/at doorway wake up call... I... “the net” of that.  Pretty simple actually.  I go into that room with smidgens, Saltines, cheese and Arlington for four decades and... so... it (I doing that) ‘glazes over’.  You know:  “Same old same old”.  (I always wanted to type that out).  Then I hear.
            The wake up call.
            That says... to me... “THIS ROOM IS LOADED”.
            Meaning ‘full of old rare books’ well beyond the ‘old rare books’ in the ‘china cabinets’ Arlington inherited from his... grandmother’s brother.  I get the message.
            And wake up.  The room is full of... TOO... Arlington’s old rare book... crap.  Arlington ...was a rotten man... and a rotten book collector.  This was his room for that (both).  That’s it.  Otherwise I’m with his mother’s boxes of family-estate-inherited... crud and the boxes of old books down by the furnace.  A rotten book collector’s ROOM.  I have shown you what a rotten man and rotten book collector Arlington was.  I just showed you his Francis O’Brien fifty-eight year “He kept” old sponge bath book, ‘signed’... you know:  “FROM HIS COLLECTION”.  (Francis’ AND Arlington’s  actually)  Just keeping that in his rare book collection (room) shows fully what a rotten MAN Arlington was.  I’m right on this... across the board...:  Rotten and rotten.  That includes his silver spoon... at the front inside of the top desk drawer.

            Or did she (the housekeeper) take it?
            It is (was) marked “Sterling”.  Anything she found marked “Sterling” she ...took.  Okay so funny thing.  Yeah there was a little silver around but nothing, you know... HOARDING.  No and Arlington’s MOM... had a
            Silver plated coffee service... someone took (it disappeared).  And she (his MOM) had an old tea service too... you know...:  “OLD”.  She never used it and probably received it from HER mom.  Sat around.  Sits around?  Yeah... it ‘sits around’ still.  Understand:
            The housekeeper always looked at that tea service... over the years... but ah... that was it.  She LOOKED at it but.. ahhhh... “isn’t silver”.
            So that was left.  In the little “DINING ROOM” cubby... sort of...:
            That tea service was (is)... English... Edwardian 1890-1910... with ‘sterling’ mark?  NO.  It has the English hallmarks, but... to Maine girls... it doesn’t SAY silver (“sterling”)  So I don’t know what happened to that.  If you know what I mean.  I know she (the housekeeper) left it in there (Arlington’s estate).
            But ahhhh... “That’s it”.

            So... when she (the housekeeper) went around the house stuffing “the silver” down her pants... did she clip Arlington’s silver spoon?
            To this day she’s got his silver spoon stuffed in the back of her dresser drawer in her bedroom in her mother’s house?
            As Arlington once said:  “She (anyone) CAN HAVE a silver spoon but that doesn’t mean they HAVE a SILVER SPOON.”  He was a rotten man.

            The boundaries of the old (rare) book room are starting to make sense?  They made sense to me.  I woke up.  I... “ahhhh... Good luck with that.”
            Well... “they” (the estate) had to have an “appraisal”... of the ‘house’ (“property”) and ‘contents’ (“the stuff”).  “No thanks I can’t do THAT because I might want to BUY the stuff if YOU SELL IT” I told her...:  “Good luck with that.”
            Someone come up.  From one of the banks.  Special guy, special car, special trip.  Got lost.  Found it.  Late... Went right through “NO PROBLEM”.  Verdict:  House old falling down mold.  Contents:  “Yuck”.  Then he left.  And went back to the banks.  Then there was another two years.  And some paper work.
            I didn’t have anything to do with that.
            What I woke up to was that... “yeah that son of bitch (Arlington) did” CRAM THAT ROOM FULL... of himself (rotten man / rotten book collector).  And I know it.  And no one else does.  So... I can “bet the house”

            This isn’t gonna work out the way you want it too.  There was not a ‘fortune’ ‘in there’.  Look at it like it’s a small island off the coast of Maine that has rocks, rockweed and pine trees on it; small and that’s it.  Someone buys it.  “What are you going to do with it?”
            “I don’t know”.
            “Why’d you buy it?”
            “I like it?”
            So I ‘bet the house’... on Arlington’s old (rare) book room.  Or at least I got ready to.  Because, I mean, I had to wait around another two years while some stupid bank tried to “figure out”... WHAT?  Figure out how to get those trust funds in the... well... ‘right place’.
            “Cool.  I can wait.”
            I did.

            This (the Arlington’s book room wake up call) goes back to ‘density’.  I spoke a ‘considerable’ about ‘density’ (Part Fifteen D [A, B & C]).  MY... ‘I configure’ density; was no more a ‘furtive glance’.  I am ‘rare book configure’ “that room”.  “Bet the house”.  “What ever ---- Anyone ---- I got it”
            On this.
            Get it?

            If not... I will poke it again.  In the book room... Arlington had this clutch of American Literature summarial critique... undergraduate collage course type... old books... written, for example by ... from Brown and ... from Yale and... from Columbia... and... anything (old books) else ‘about that’ TOO and a little bit more obsessive than that so... even more... old books about... American literature and
            I remind
            That American literature is a vast (rare book) plain on the vast (rare book) plain of Americana (Part Twenty-Six) so... that subject itself (plain on plain) interested Arlington so that he ‘furtive glance’ style read obsessively about American literature and... its history and the perspectives of its history (historiography)... and... you get it so also denote that he... obsessively brought all of that into the old (rare) book room so that
            When I find a ...two thirds read... his copy... of  Phillip Young’s AMERICAN FICTION AMERICAN MYTH (Penn State Univ. Press, 2000)...:  That rotten man... that rotten book collector... actually bought a NEW book on a subject of passing (obsessive) interest to himself... and read it... reading along TOO... from all of the other ‘old books’ he’d gathered about him on this ‘vast plain’ subject... he cared about...  “Ahhhh...”

            And it went from there.  “Thackeray in America”.  “withdrawn” (pitched out) by a local Maine library.  An early and cheap French edition of Moby Dick (Crete, 1928).  A complete run (all issues published) of John Neal’s YANKEE (Portland 1828).
            I go in reverse:  Neal’s Yankee has an ‘early’ (very early) review of Poe... but TOO is the first real Maine literary journal.  No one knows about it.  No one knows about Neal.  I already covered that (Part Seven).  Let us not pretend:  WHERE... are they (bound runs of YANKEE)?  They are on old Maine attic floors and in old (rare) book rooms.  What does one... ‘think’?  Your gonna find one at a garage sale?  Your not.
            The French Moby Dick?  ANY... early (“FIRST”)... “foreign language” ‘edition’ of ANY classic literature... ‘is of interest’.  The more wild the ‘language’ translated ‘into’.  The more wild the “country” it “came from”.  The more wild the imprint (“where it was printed”) and the ‘earlier it is’ (date)... the greater the interest from

            And jabbing Melville back a step too... all those “OLD” “American Literature” essays Arlington browsed...:  They are very... very-very conspicuous for their NO MENTION of Melville.  Melville is either noted in the 1850’s or... after the 1920’s.  There is a big hole in American ‘lit - crit’; seventy years of only “rare mention” ‘of Melville’.  Arlington knew that too.  And kept ‘an eye out’.
            As for Thackeray in America:  “Who’s Thackeray?”.  Right?  Arlington READ THE BOOK.  And liked it.  And told me about it.
            I blew him off.
            I remember doing that.
            He just looked at me like I was ‘such an idiot’.
            He paid a quarter for the book. 

            The point.  My point.  The “wake up call”.
            The call was that I realized the “OL”; the ‘operating level’ of the CONTENTS of that room; Arlington’s old (rare) book room... was... very
            “High”.  And... almost... everyone I have ‘ever know’... :  “NOT GONNA SEE THAT”.  Who’s the ‘almost’?
            A couple of bibliomaniacs.
            But where... is anyone... but me... gonna find them?
            And that is just ‘the way it went’.

1 comment:

  1. Time, time, time, it's a long game that goes 40 years, and now it still could be rained out, I would never know enough to do it.