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Archive for the ‘Desire’ Category

(Painting by Albrecht Durer)

Several months ago I was at the airport, kicking around the bookstore, like I usually do in airports. I saw the new thriller by Dan Brown.  I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Dan Brown. I find his work to be intellectually stimulating on many levels, if I can successfully maneuver the machismo/misogyny combo platter which is offered up with a nice healthy side of violence. (To be honest, I’ve only actually read The DaVinci Code.)

I am thoroughly impressed with any author who is able to take an academic topic (in this case art history) and weave it into a fictional story that is palatable, nay…desirable, for today’s finicky American readers. It’s really quite difficult to do without dropping a bunch of information that you (the author) find to be extraordinary in every way, but doesn’t have anything to do with the story line. Example:

The two girls walked down the street happily. Suddenly, Girl One grabbed Girl Two and shrieked loudly.

“Girl Two, is that a black hole over there by that fire hydrant?!?! Did you know that black holes are a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape!?” exclaimed Girl One.

“No, I didn’t know that!” said Girl Two as they continued off down the street hand in hand. “Fascinating!”

That sort of thing is easy to fold into an academic fictional story and to think that it might slip by the reader. But readers are usually pretty smart. They know when you’re trying to trick them into learning something, unless you’re really neat about it, which Dan Brown is.

Anyway. All of this is  a long segue into my real topic of the day: wanting stuff. At the airport that day, I wanted The Lost Symbol. I read the inside jacket. Then I flipped the book over and nearly choked on my “The Country’s Best Yogurt” frozen sorbet treat…the book cost nearly $30.

That is a restaurant meal for three people, including the tip, said my brain.

Yes, answered my heart, but the meal disappears into energy and waste in a matter of hours. This book will stick around for years.

You’ll never read it again. It will go on the shelf for a few months and then you’ll sell it for $3 at Smith Family for a 90% loss in investment. That’s pathetic, says brain.

But think about Dan Brown! He is a struggling writer, just like us. How long do you think he toiled upon this opus? Surely that is worth the suggested deniro? replied heart, imploringly. When heart starts using weird words to distract brain like that, I know its time to pull out the big gun. My cell phone.

Dialing: M-Baby Home Line.

M-Baby: Hello?

Me: I’m in the airport. I’d like to get a $30 book. What do you think about that?

M-Baby: You have a shelf full of books here. Wow! Thirty dollars! That is a restaurant meal for three people including a tip!

Me: I know. But it’s the new Dan Brown book.

M-Baby: The guy who wrote DaVinci Code? That movie was really violent.

Me: I know. But my heart really wants to read it.

M-Baby: Baby. You do not need another book. Especially one that costs thirty dollars and is probably available at the library.

Me: You’re right, I don’t. I’m just going to go and sit by my gate and look at one of the four boring books I brought along with me specifically for reading in the airport.

M-Baby: That sounds like a good idea to me. I’ll see you in a few hours.

And so I did. And I survived. And I didn’t even ever think about the Dan Brown book again after I hung up the phone.

The point of all of this is that I found Dan Brown’s $30 book at Goodwill yesterday. It cost $3.49 and it even had a extra cool dust cover on it because it came from some library that I’d never heard of. (Why would a library get rid of a new Dan Brown book? Are people bored already? Maybe someone lost it, had to pay the library for it, then found it later…)

The lord works in mysterious and unknowable ways. My heart is full.

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