But Sunday afternoon I did get to the tag sale at the Goodwill store, and did buy the three items I'd had my eye on. One is a copy of E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime, which I have never read, though I did see the movie based on it. The other two items are DVDs, one being Jackass, the Movie. For those not familiar with the franchise, the Jackasses are several guys who do incredibly stupid and dangerous stunts, and attempt, usually with great success, to make one another look ridiculous. Asking me why I enjoy the Jackasses is pointless. I suppose like them for the same reasons so many guys like the Three Stooges. It's just incredibly dumb stuff with no point and lets you turn your higher brain functions off and enjoy a few minutes of mindless pleasure in other people's willful suffering.
The other movie is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I watched several times on cable. Now that I don't have cable anymore, and am unlikely to ever have it again, watching this movie will be a pleasant reminder of the past, when I used to watch movies from under a pile of cats. Plus Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman, and I really enjoy the musical score.
But in addition to these items I also found a book that was not on sale, but worth the three bucks I paid for it. It's an enormous hardbound coffee table book called Hollywood Legends, with over three hundred black and white movie stills and portraits of movie stars, some by Hollywood's most accomplished photographers. Hours of pleasure, I'm sure, recalling all those old movies I'm unlikely to get a chance to watch again. So I'd say it was a good day, and I hope the rest of the week can live up to it, though I doubt it will.
by B. H. Fairchild
Amid the note cards and long, yellow legal pads, the late
nineteenth-century journals containing poems by Swinburne or
Rossetti or Lionel Johnson, the Yeats edition of Blake with its
faded green cover and beveled edges, I and the other readers in
the British Library began to feel an odd presence. We lifted our
eyes in unison to observe the two small deer that had entered
the room so quietly, so very discreetly, the music of their
entering suspended above us, inaudible, but there, truly, as the
deer were there. They paused, we could hear their breathing,
or so it seemed, and no one moved. What could we do, there
were deer in the room, and now hundreds of deer reflected in
our eyes. The silence was unbearable at first, and the librarian
in the linen blouse, her long fingers trembling, began to weep.
The deer sensed this and, without seeming to move at all,
came closer, licking her elbows, sniffing the soapy fragrance
in the well of her neck, staring into her watery eyes. At some
point beyond memory we could no longer distinguish her from
the deer, it was all stillness anyway, everywhere the silence
covered us like a silken net, and the books began to darken and
crumble with age. We had all found our place, our eyes were
full of deer, and our sadness was without cease.