Saturday, June 17, 2006

Walking home from dropping my honey off at work, I came upon a bunch of books on the sidewalk. Some were stacked neatly in a box, some were scattered haphazardly on their sides, and some were spread out all over the sidewalk. One thing you must know about me -- I cannot resist any kind of trash people put out on the sidewalk. I also have a tendency to want to look through people's cupboards when I'm at their house (with permission, of course). Trevor says it's one of the endearing things about me. I'm like a little raccoon.

Well, we have a lot of damn books in our tiny apartment. So I passed the box up, but of course I turned right around 15 feet later and went back to look. Squatting down, I noticed the majority of the books were cloth covered hardbacks. Old cloth-covered hardbacks. Now, I have a strange obsession with picking up old books, specifically first editions and weird tales that I find in thrift shops and at yard sales. Not so strange, I hear you saying, but it IS strange because I refuse to pay more than a dollar or whatever. I like the hunt, and the glee of finding something so (rare, expensive, quirky) that was just discarded, and for such a low price.

So, I see my first victim -- GodEmperor of Dune, by Frank Herbert, in paperback. Pick that up for my honey-pie. Then I spy The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu, by Sax Rohmer. 1913, first printing. Sweet. Then something magical happens. Buried under all the stacks is a maroon cloth hardback in perfect condition, with the initials "TC" on the cover. It's Truman Capote's novel, In Cold Blood, which I've been wanting to read for ages, and even more so after watching Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of him in the film Capote.

It's a first edition from 1965. Sweetness, I think to myself, and trundle home with my booty. Drop them on the floor in the hallway to wait for Trevor to come home and see my loot. I fuck around on the internet for awhile, practice my bass, and pretend not to notice my apartment is a filthy pigsty. When Trevor gets home and lauds me for my good finds, as an afterthought I get on that treasure trove of rare book goodness, ABE books, and nonchalantly look up my finds. OMG.

In Cold Blood A True Account of A Multiple Murder (ISBN: 0375507906)
Capote, Truman
Book Description: Random House, N.Y., 1965. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Maroon cloth covered boards, spine and corners are bumped, has light wear on edges, signed by previous owner on title page, no d.j. Bookseller Inventory # 010987

Price: US$ 125.00

And Mr. Fu-Manchu is an easy $20 as well. This is what I love, and what fuels my OCD tendencies to scour the endless boxes of vinyl Lawrence Welk at the thrift shop in search of David J's rare vinyl EP V for Vendetta (which, incidentally, was reissued on June 13 on CD -- just click the link to pick it up, believe me you will not be sorry) or pore over 4 bookcases full of Michael Crichton just on the off chance I'll find, oh, a first edition Cannibal Nights, the Reminiscences of a Freeland Trader from 1927 (for a dollar!).

Ah, sweet satisfaction.

3 Comments:

Blogger CJKnaak said...

Hey thats not fair.
Denver has a centralized division of scavengers whom scour the streets continually searching for any salvagable remnant of anything at all. They are called bums. You might of heard of them. Ask me how many times have I seen one of them meanering along in that herky-kerky fashion of theirs- to suddenly stop and stoop over to pick-up a cigarrette butt, a beer can, or a bit of wax paper wrapped around some mysterious item ironed into the warm tar of the street by repeated footsteps and tire-treads?
I couldn't begin to count.
And now you.. an avid read, an intellectual, a dabbler in a bit of this and that from the rummage-bin of erudition.. just happens along to find a box, a full box, filled with some of the finest literature to emerge in the last century.
This has to be a set-up. Is it a gift? Is it a trap? Are these books cursed?
What's the catch?
You be careful.

Anyways, congratulations, and thank you for this early bit of just-rolled-out-of-the-bed-from-a-deep-sleep (and a dream, incidently, of being pursued by people trying to kill Nicole and I) anecdotal evidence to a higher purpose to life.

June 17, 2006 at 5:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger saudade said...

Ha, I'm always teasing Trevor that when he gets out of school, instead of going part-time and joining a band and eating bon-bons, I'm going to become a can lady. I love trash!

There is no catch, no curse. I don't seek to create or lure that type of energy. It's a gift because they needed a loving home.

Oooh, pursued by killers. The best type of dream. You get to practice your skills without the fear of repercussions, um, like death.

June 17, 2006 at 10:41:00 AM PDT  
Blogger CJKnaak said...

As a matter of fact I kicked the guys ass in the dream.. though he was smaller than me and.. immortal.
He never dies.. and has continued to chase me over the years. This is the first dream I had in which someone else was with me.. someone real, that is.. Being Nicole.
The thing.. well It's sort of a doppelganger. Some psychological force within me given an anthropomorphic face.
I don't know what it means.

In the dream, Nicole was walking on the ground, and I was hopping from tree to tree, kind of like Cosimo in the book "Baron of the Trees".. I kept telling Nicole to hurry up.. that I could see it or him just behind the hedges here and the trees there..
It finally cought up with us. I dropped out of the trees to combat it. I got it in a headlock and spun it around, slamming it into this stone wall.
Then my alarm went off.

I awoke.. hunkered over to the laptop sitting on the desk and blearily checked the email. Tom Scheu had written-
He has Diabetes and is giving himself 4 shots a day. Apparently he almost died and his hand is still useless.. so he is depressed about not being able to play music.

While I have dreams, sometimes nightmares.. Tom is currently living a nightmare.

June 17, 2006 at 4:36:00 PM PDT  

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