We do a lot of reading around here. Our house is as quiet as a tomb. Not that I’ve ever hung out in a tomb. Possibly tombs are a cacophony of screeching bats and rattling bones.
Right now the only sound in this crypt is the dripping of rain into the pool. At least the only sound I can identify. Being deaf limits my ability to figure out what I’m hearing. And it’s getting worse. The good news is I’m not Helen Keller quite yet. I can still (sort of) see and still (sort of) hear.
Back to reading. Jim continues to read each and every word in Gone with The Wind. He’s such an overachiever. In the time he’s plodded along with Scarlet I’ve devoured our book club choice, Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, followed by Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire, then I chewed through Susanna Kaysen’s Cambridge.
The books fall outta’ my head darn near the minute I finish the last page. I can recall the general gist of them, but not all the details. Good thing I don’t have to do book reports.
Cambridge is still fresh since I completed it within the last fifteen minutes. The memoir begins with our narrator, Susanna, as a second grader, hauled from her beloved home in Cambridge, MA to detested London. Following London, her intellectual Harvard professor father takes work in Italy as well as a year in Greece.
Author Susanna Kaysen does an excellent job of drawing the visual of a miserable, crabby kid. She feels different and simply wants to go back to Cambridge. We stay with Susanna until she is about to enter 7th grade.
I was mentally transported to my youthful years. Not so much second grade, but I distinctly remember feeling like an outsider from 4th grade on. I had red hair, was plump, loathed school except for art class, had slightly yellow teeth and weird cat eye glasses. Worst of all I had a speech impediment that made me sound like Donald Duck. I said my “S’s” out of the sides of my back teeth.
Mr. McVey, my fourth-grade teacher, managed to get me into the speech class. My impediment wasn’t considered horrible compared to the other kids in class. At first, the over-worked speech teacher tried to keep me out. But Mr. McVey went to church with my parents. He liked them. Maybe he liked me. He insisted I’d be made fun of in high school unless I resolved the problem. I learned all of that much later.
All I knew at the time was I detested speech class. I had to carry a particular blue folder with a giant S on the front. In the folder were magazine cut-out’s of all things starting with “S”. Spaghetti. Snakes. Silly Putty. Salad. Soup.
I was pulled out of class weekly, lugging my blue folder and feeling intensely embarrassed as classmates watched me go. I don’t remember the speech teachers name. What I do recall is he had silver crutches with rings that wrapped around his arms. Probably he’d had polio.
I sat in a small school chair and read my “S” words aloud. I had to practice at home which drove my sister, Marilyn, to the brink of madness.
Eventually, I got it. Now my “S’s” come out of my front touching teeth. I used to do my sloppy “S’s” just for fun sometimes. Mother hated that. She was afraid I’d revert back to Donald Duck, forgetting everything I’d learned.
Now I have to figure out what to read next. Our next book club read is Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None. I ordered it on Amazon a couple of hours ago. But can’t read it until closer to our meeting. All the words will dribble out of my brain like so much water through a sieve.
Other entries regarding books and reading
Enough outta’ me. Drunko-Bunco is tonight. Time to fill the flask.