"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.
"I only wish that I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light."
-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
I killed my Kindle today.
At the pool.
In the middle of a sentence of Karen Russell's brilliant Swamplandia! I decide to go for a bottled water. It was so hot. At the pool.
Cool drink of water. Sit down. Refreshing. Cold, even, on this very hot day. Put in the iPhone earbugs for some Enrique. Toes dancing. God, it's hot. "You're so damn priiiity. If I had a type I know it'd be yuuuu...." Nap.
Later: Let's see what the Bigtrees are up to.
Reach into the beach bag. No Kindle.
I sat on it. Dead. I killed my Kindle today.
You learn a lot about yourself in moments like this. My first thought was not that I had killed my Kindle, but that I needed to know what happened to the Bigtree family in Swamplandia! and how they would survive without me knowing. Or without me with them.
So, I go the the Lexington Central Public Library, wet swimsuit and all (very Swamplandia!, if you are familiar with the mid-chapters) and type in the title.
There is one copy available at the Tates Creek Branch. The tidy librarian puts it on hold. For me. Like magic. I drive out and retrieve it.
So, now I have Karen Russell's Swamplandia in hard copy at no charge. And the Bigtrees can live.
I come home and find my place in the pages. Kiwi is being shat upon by the pigeons, just like at the Pool, hours earlier. Just like on Kindle. But, better?
Holding a book in my hands again. From a free public library.
"Laundry is my last priority right now, V."
"Shit, I'd rethink that! Have you smelled you? I will, like sneak your laundry into my house, bro. My mom loves doing laundry, it's like this Immigrant Mother disorder? She uses Lluvia de las Montanas detergent--it's so badass. You'll smell like Costa Rica!"
-swamplandia, the print edition (and maybe in eBook, i dont know)