Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Note to self

When you have a couple of gloriously free hours while Em is in Hebrew school..when you walk down the street to Barnes and Noble in air with only the faintest bit of chill, beneath a sky with only the faintest overcast...when you're feeling better for the first time after four straight days of flu symptoms and just wanting to sleeeeeeeeeeep...when you decide to blow off working at the bookstore and instead to just pick one slim volume from the shelves and just luxuriate in it for as long as you can before you have to go back...

Don't pick Elie Wiesel's Night.

I know, I know. What was I thinking?

I was thinking that I've never read it. I was thinking that I should, some day. I had it in my hands, and I started flipping through it, almost weighing it, wondering if and when I'd find the strength to actually do it, to actually take this pain on, knowingly, willingly. And the next thing I knew, I'd burrowed into one of the overstuffed chairs that was, miraculously for this particular B&N, empty at the moment. And the next thing I knew after that, it was an hour and a half later, and I had to go, and I wasn't finished, but I was done in the bone-wearying sense of the word. Done for the day.

The whole way back to the temple--much more overcast, the skies...much more fluish, my bones--I couldn't shake what I'd read. Not just the images. I've seen those images; I've read those images. But there was a new kind of devastation in this book...something in the spareness of the language, something in the last lines I read before putting the book back on the shelf:

I burst out:

"What does it matter to you? Do we have to regard Hitler as a prophet?"

His glazed, faded eyes looked at me. At last he said in a weary voice:

"I've got more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He's the only one who's kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people."

I walked to the library this afternoon to take the book out. I can't let it go, now. But I'm going to read the rest of it when and where it should be read: huddled in my bed, when there's nothing but sleep ahead, when there's nothing but night outside.

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