Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Discussing Literature

Our friend J. was passing through town. I believe it is okay to mention him without permission on the "blog" as I am protecting his anonymity to some extent. I happened to run into him at Square Books. He was with his friend Cary, who directed a movie version of JANE EYRE that I liked a lot. J. mentioned that he and Cary were having dinner with Wright Thompson later in the evening. Well, then I went to City Grocery Bar to meet Ace Atkins and Bill Boyle, where we, uh, discussed literature. It was just after four, "Megan Abbott Time" as we call it around here. Ace left at one point and walked next door to Square Books and bought each of us a different Travis McGee novel tailor-made to our individual tastes. Square Books has sold so many books to drunk people! You sit up there at the Grocery and get excited talking about some book you love and next thing you know you're somewhere else and the old cash register is ringing. Not to say that Ace was drunk. In fact he was in more of a sipping mood. Sipping and contemplative. My own mood was somewhat different. I got home and told Dr. Theresa about J. being in town - they once bonded over the horrific experience of going to see COWBOYS AND ALIENS together, and really it has united them in a way that few can fathom - so she wanted me to bring him a little note saying how sorry she was to miss him. So I went to the restaurant with the note in my pocket but no one was there so I had no choice but to drink some more. We have reached 8:30 in the evening in our tale. Wright showed up and politely asked me whether I'd like to join the table, and I impolitely - boorishly, even - accepted the invitation. Then I babbled about JANE EYRE to the director for a million hours without managing to produce a single insight. Stuff like, "You did a great job!" At a lull in the babbling, J. said, "Hey, Jack? Did you know he directed a version of JANE EYRE?" A chuckle was enjoyed by all. Why, only that day I had seen Kaitlyn at Off Square Books and one of the books there reminded me of the sad death of Meriwether Lewis, which I started babbling about, and Kaitlyn said, "I heard it might have been murder!" And then she realized, "Oh, I think it was you who told me that." And I realized that I have only two or three topics of conversation, one of them being the sad death of Meriwether Lewis. Another is crows, as I discovered at a dinner party when everyone gently hinted that I should shut up about crows. Wow, I'm learning a lot of miserable things about myself as I type this. And yet I have no feeling that I might ever become a better person. Things reached such a state at the dinner last night, the JANE EYRE dinner, that we decided to drunk dial Jerry Lewis. I think it was Wright's idea. So Wright called Dr. Theresa to ask her to read him Jerry Lewis's phone number, which I have taped to my office wall, natch, but luckily Dr. Theresa did not pick up the phone because Dr. Theresa never picks up the phone, so we didn't call Jerry Lewis. Oh my God! That was a close one.